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E.J. Henderson carted off

The Vikings lost more than a game Sunday night.

Middle linebacker E.J. Henderson was carted off the field in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a devastating knee injury. 

Henderson collided with teammate Jamarca Sanford and his leg bent backward grotesquely.  Henderson’s brother Erin, inactive for the Vikings, held his brother’s hand as they were taken to the locker room.

Minnesota has enjoyed a remarkable lack of injuries before Sunday night, but this one will sting.  Henderson was having a Pro Bowl quality season and wears the defensive headset as the team’s signal caller.  His 2008 season also ended early with a foot injury.

Jasper Brinkley will take over at middle linebacker.

UPDATE: Brad Childress said after the game that Henderson suffered a broken femur and will stay in Phoenix overnight.

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70 Responses to “E.J. Henderson carted off”
  1. Contra says: Dec 6, 2009 11:33 PM

    Huge loss, EJ is irreplaceable!

  2. bluestree says: Dec 6, 2009 11:34 PM

    That was nasty! Hope it wasn’t as bad as it looked.

  3. dlodown1 says: Dec 6, 2009 11:34 PM

    Man, the Vikes are just taking a total beating tonight……Huge let down on both sides of the ball.

  4. DirtMcGirt24 says: Dec 6, 2009 11:34 PM

    He’ll be lucky to walk normally again. That was gross.
    Fortunately, he’s a professional athlete, so his luck has already begun with the best care possible.
    Good luck to him.

  5. parasonic says: Dec 6, 2009 11:34 PM

    that was a theismann esque break (from a disgusting standpoint). career over? who needs two knees anyway.

  6. Rickah99 says: Dec 6, 2009 11:35 PM

    Oh man, that looked bad!! Brought back memories of when Tim Krumrie broke his ankle, waaaay back in the day!
    As UMD alumn I wish him a speedy recovery!!

  7. Bob_Zombie, JimmySmits, and Cojones says: Dec 6, 2009 11:35 PM

    Let’s not have any smart remarks from the Packer usuals. Injury in the NFL is serious business. Get well soon EJ, your monster season has unfortunately been taken from you.

  8. GBPackers says: Dec 6, 2009 11:35 PM

    Man that was ugly, hopefully he recovers quickly

  9. Cereal Blogger says: Dec 6, 2009 11:37 PM

    Pretty cool to see Erin consoling his brother like that. EJ looked to be in serious pain. As a Terps fan you hate to see one of your guys go down.

  10. MNRunLeft says: Dec 6, 2009 11:37 PM

    Big loss for the Vikings, EJ is a great player but it looks like he’ll have back to back season ending injuries. Brinkley was a nice player in college, but he’ll be a big drop off, on a slightly positive note many teams have being running 3 WR’s against the Vikings a majority of the time so Leber will probably see the largest increase in playing time with the potential loss of EJ. Flat game by the Vikings after that first series.

  11. Favre On HGH says: Dec 6, 2009 11:38 PM

    Freak accident play, hate to see those, especially how his happened.
    —————-
    Look for Favre and Peterson to be listed next week with sore backsides after the beating they were given by the Cardinals.

  12. iloveflorio says: Dec 6, 2009 11:39 PM

    Here’s a link to the video of the injury: http://www.twitvid.com/7256C

  13. 200 Ponies says: Dec 6, 2009 11:40 PM

    That made my knee hurt just watching it. I hope I never see that replay again. Terrible injury.

  14. mlason says: Dec 6, 2009 11:40 PM

    reminded me of mcgahee’s knee exploding against ohio state when he was playing in the national title game with u.m. get well soon ej.

  15. mnmaverick says: Dec 6, 2009 11:41 PM

    Actually E.J. was over-rated. I like Brinkley. He’s better than the scrubs we had replacing Henderson last year.
    Any linebacker looks good when shielded by the Williams Wall. Brinkley is a beast. We’ll be fine there.

  16. mnmaverick says: Dec 6, 2009 11:42 PM

    Too many injuries, that Cardinal team is at full-strengtgh. That’s the prime difference.

  17. lebowski says: Dec 6, 2009 11:43 PM

    That is too bad, he’s a hell of a football player.

  18. jamesz23 says: Dec 6, 2009 11:43 PM

    God bless EJ I hope he’s ok and recovers quickly. I think at least for this season Chris Johnson and maybe Maurice Jones Drew are the 2 best running backs in football not Adrian Peterson. I honestly don’t think Peterson is running the way he did last year & people comparing him to the greatest RB’s of all-time really got ahead of themselves. Maybe he’ll prove me wrong in the playoffs – we’ll see.

  19. PurpleRaid12 says: Dec 6, 2009 11:43 PM

    I hope he will be ok, from what I saw, it looks like that’s his season, but I truly hope he’s alright not just for the Vikings but for his future. Great guy, and he will be missed…….. let’s go out and get Brooks.

  20. tommac65 says: Dec 6, 2009 11:44 PM

    Cincy will go in there next week and run the football down their throats

  21. Postman says: Dec 6, 2009 11:46 PM

    That’s classy, mnmaverick.

  22. Bob Loblaw says: Dec 6, 2009 11:48 PM

    I don’t think E.J. was having that great of a season. His play the previous few weeks was close to what in the past, but most of the season wasn’t up to par. He was playing at a Pro Bowl level in 2007 and early 2008 before going down with a foot injury, but I didn’t see that this year.
    Hopefully Ben Leber will take over for E.J. as the play caller and in nickel and dime packages. He’s probably the smartest guy on the team and did a great job in pass packeages last year when Henderson went out.
    I don’t have much hope that Brinkley will be more than a run stopping MLB at any point in his career. Being a rookie, I think asking him to do more than that is expecting too much.

  23. GBPackers says: Dec 6, 2009 11:52 PM

    Bob_Zombie, JimmySmits, and Cojones says:
    December 6, 2009 11:35 PM
    Let’s not have any smart remarks from the Packer usuals. Injury in the NFL is serious business. Get well soon EJ, your monster season has unfortunately been taken from you.
    ————————————————-
    Seriously?? Why would ANYONE say anything negative about that?? I feel bad for the guy!

  24. mnmaverick says: Dec 6, 2009 11:52 PM

    Peterson is still the best. Our offensive line is lousy at run blocking and Tahi isn’t a big blocking fullback. Our starting right guard is out injured as was our starting ruight tackle. We have a rookie at center replacing Matt Birk. That has taken a big toll on the run blocking.

  25. SF Saints Fan says: Dec 6, 2009 11:55 PM

    That is too bad. Hate to see that happen to anybody, even on the Vikings. I hope he can come back from the injury and play again.
    Good luck E.J.

  26. mnmaverick says: Dec 6, 2009 11:55 PM

    A RB is only as goo0d as his blocking .

  27. martinez33 says: Dec 6, 2009 11:55 PM

    I love my Vikes…but they straight SUCKED tonight! Just wishing EJ a speedy recovery

  28. employer says: Dec 7, 2009 12:00 AM

    @mnmaverick
    I couldn’t agree more on the Brinkley statement. I always thought he should be playing in the middle. Sorry to see EJ hurt that way. I hope he recovers well, but I haven’t seen the kind of play he was having before last years toe injury that everyone is talking about.
    Brinkly is capable of playing some very good ball.
    Leber calls a better game w/headset.

  29. silverreign says: Dec 7, 2009 12:00 AM

    same kinda thing happened to me. ended up being a torn acl/mcl and meniscus in my knee. the worst is the meniscus because it isn’t really replaceable.

  30. rcpecook says: Dec 7, 2009 12:01 AM

    @mnmaverick
    can’t you just admit that the queens got spanked?
    quit making excuses, you sound dumb!

  31. Voice_of_reason1 says: Dec 7, 2009 12:01 AM

    It looks like his leg got messed up pretty bad.

  32. ChrisSD says: Dec 7, 2009 12:02 AM

    I hope Henderson recovers soon from his injury. I am a die-hard Packers fan and I have tremendous admiration for Henderson. He is a terrific player and everyone should keep him in their prayers tonight.

  33. SpartaChris says: Dec 7, 2009 12:03 AM

    Ouch, tough loss for the Vikes. Hate to see a guy go down like that. That looked like it could have been career ending. Hope that’s not the case. Here’s wishing him lots of morphine and a speedy recovery.

  34. oneGIANTloss says: Dec 7, 2009 12:14 AM

    Can one of the commenters who are talking about Peterson explain how this post has anything to do with him? EJ’s season and possibly career ( depending on the severity) ended tonight and people wanna talk about AP on this post?

  35. mnmaverick says: Dec 7, 2009 12:15 AM

    I’m pointing out why they losty. Thqat’s not making excuses. That’s presenting the FACTS. Can’t handle them, can ya? :::howl:::

  36. Bee_Arthur says: Dec 7, 2009 12:15 AM

    jamesz23 says:
    December 6, 2009 11:43 PM
    …. “I think at least for this season Chris Johnson and maybe Maurice Jones Drew are the 2 best running backs in football not Adrian Peterson. I honestly don’t think Peterson is running the way he did last year & people comparing him to the greatest RB’s of all-time really got ahead of themselves. Maybe he’ll prove me wrong in the playoffs – we’ll see.”
    ===================================
    Yeah, because it’s Peterson’s fault that Childress hasn’t developed a run game this year. It’s also his fault that his line hasn’t given him anything to work with.

  37. FumbleNuts says: Dec 7, 2009 12:16 AM

    His leg bent backward grotesquely and it looked like it twisted all the way around at the same time.
    Man, I wish Henderson a seedy recovery and hope he can come back after something like this.

  38. packers4life says: Dec 7, 2009 12:16 AM

    Hope E.J. is alright. You never want to see knee injuries like Henderson got.

  39. MNRunLeft says: Dec 7, 2009 12:22 AM

    Honestly the fact that it’s a broken bone and not a completely torn apart knee if a real positive for EJ’s career, though I’m guessing their could be more damage once they do an MRI.

  40. NYDolphinGuy says: Dec 7, 2009 12:25 AM

    Shades of Musa Smith:
    http://images.usatoday.com/sports/_photos/2005/05/23/inside2-2005-05-23-smith.jpg

  41. Osterhouse says: Dec 7, 2009 12:28 AM

    I hope EJ comes back and that didn’t end his career

  42. DirtyNickels says: Dec 7, 2009 12:33 AM

    It looked a lot worse than a broken femur. The way the leg whipped, I think it’s pretty clear there is some structural damage to his knee. It’s a shame- he was playing well.

  43. tommac65 says: Dec 7, 2009 12:35 AM

    Looked like Tim Krumrie in the super bowl for the bengals, when his leg flapped like that in the air

  44. PossibleCabbage says: Dec 7, 2009 12:44 AM

    “Man, I wish Henderson a seedy recovery”
    Really? I wish him a clean and well-lit recovery. With a seedy recovery, there would be a serious risk of infection.

  45. effs420 says: Dec 7, 2009 12:45 AM

    jeeeeezus the vikes got owned and exposed tonight
    to my fellow viking fans that still think they’re super bowl bound i say look at this game plus the saints’ last two games…
    it ain’t gonna happen brothers

  46. zydecos34 says: Dec 7, 2009 12:48 AM

    His injury reminded me of Napoleon McCallium’s of the Raiders against SF back in the 90’s on that Monday night game. I only wish the best for EJ and a speedy recovery. He was having a great comeback season.

  47. greenngld says: Dec 7, 2009 12:55 AM

    Bob_Zombie, JimmySmits, and Cojones says:
    December 6, 2009 11:35 PM
    Let’s not have any smart remarks from the Packer usuals. Injury in the NFL is serious business. Get well soon EJ, your monster season has unfortunately been taken from you.
    Nobody went there but you. So who’s the jerk, jerk?

  48. shabadoooo says: Dec 7, 2009 1:04 AM

    EJ just won best charity award for the vikings too. this was an all around good person. never in trouble off the field, unlike many vikings. EJ is too tough to let this ruin his career. He will be back. i don’t know when, but with surgery improvements, and therapy advances, and his money, he will come back. Lots of players are coming back from knee injuries more often than ever. i know it’s not the same, but he will be back.
    I have to give credit to ChrisCollinsworth and Al Michaels for giving EJ the respect he has earned. Most broadcast crews ignore the injury and talk about something else. They gave him accolades he deserved.
    And Brad Childress. It’s not often a coach goes out to the field for injuries. He earned a lot of respect from me tonight. Most coaches, even in the rare event they go to check on the injured player, will just go back to the sideline. Childress stayed out there for EJ. I really think that was a great thing he did. Just showing that the game comes second in times of player health and safety.
    i hope the vikings players play for EJ throughout the season.

  49. shabadoooo says: Dec 7, 2009 1:16 AM

    i’m an EMT and i saw the guy pulling traction. i’m hearing reports that it was the femur. i see the replay and i think knee. but traction usually implies a long bone injury. maybe they were just stabilizing it.
    Since bones have a blood supply, and he is young and very healthy, that would allow the healing process to go smoothly. You can recover from a bone injury much better than a ligament, because ligaments don’t have a direct blood supply.
    But, a femur fracture is an unbearable amount of pain. If that’s what it was, then EJ is one tough SOB. Most of the time, a patient with a femur fracture has to be put under because the pain is too excrutiating to bear. and it’s lifethreatening, because big arteries can be torn.
    i would be surprised if it was a femur, but it might actually be better than a torn up knee, if you think long term. but it also could be both, it was so ugly.
    i hope he is OK. he is a class act. vikings number one charity provider. never in trouble. great person.

  50. JSpicoli says: Dec 7, 2009 1:17 AM

    I haven’t seen it yet, and from what I read here, I don’t want to.

  51. shabadoooo says: Dec 7, 2009 1:22 AM

    apparently it was a femur. Good God! this could be femur and a torn up knee.

  52. Mike Rendahl says: Dec 7, 2009 1:25 AM

    Was sick to my stomach seeing E.J. Henderson go down like that… I know I’ll never watch that replay again… Tough loss for the Vikings (and I’m not talking about the game). Favre had an off night and has been fantastic this season, I’m sure he’ll bounce back as he always does. The tackling by the Vikings was pathetic, forget about hitting the guy hard and just get him down. The Ref’s did NOT help by blowing 2 obvious pass interference calls in the first half. I can’t believe I am saying this, but I actually thought Childress coached a decent game, the players thought just didn’t get it done. Lastly, this game was going to be tough regardless, especially after the tough loss the Cardinals had last week. Let’s bounce back quick Vikes and get well soon E.J.!

  53. johnko says: Dec 7, 2009 2:19 AM

    I was at the game and I’m thankful it was not a spinal injury.

  54. Bob Nelson says: Dec 7, 2009 2:37 AM

    That leg was twisted abnormally as it whipped through the air.
    Upon seeing it, all of America knew it would be Christmas on crutches for Henderson.
    The real shame of it was that another viking delivered the helmet hit on the contorted leg that ended Henderson’s season as the ball carrier ran by them.
    I wish him a speedy rehab when he begins walking again next year.

  55. ScottThompson1982 says: Dec 7, 2009 2:48 AM

    Tony Dungy said that it was an OUTRAGE that it didn’t happen to a white player.

  56. packers4life says: Dec 7, 2009 3:31 AM

    “We have a rookie at center replacing Matt Birk. That has taken a big toll on the run blocking.”
    In case you’ve forgotten, John Sullivan was among the many Vikings on the Pro Bowl roster so apparently he hasn’t been doing anything wrong this year, at least according to Viking fans.

  57. straightup says: Dec 7, 2009 6:34 AM

    Hope he’s alright even if he is a Viking. I love football regardless of the team and never want to see anyone hurt “permanently”. Maybe he’ll be like W.M when he took that bad shot to the knee. Good luck and best wishes.

  58. Calistin says: Dec 7, 2009 8:38 AM

    Let’s not have any remarks from Packer fans? ROFLMAO!!! You mean like when the Packers have an injury and over half the posts are from Viking fans? Go back to when Kampman and Harris got hurt. More Vikings pansies posting their school girlish glee than actual Packer Fans offering condolences.
    Yeah, stay classy Minnesota.
    Get well soon EJ, your team needs you.

  59. bustabloodvessel says: Dec 7, 2009 9:00 AM

    I can’t believe Bob Nelson made one of the better posts. That being said, lets all wish him a healthy recovery.

  60. schism says: Dec 7, 2009 9:04 AM

    Broken femur, best of luck to him, that is devistating.

  61. Richm2256 says: Dec 7, 2009 9:31 AM

    “Here’s a link to the video of the injury: ”
    What kind of sick, immature idiot posts a link to a clip like that? I haven’t seen the injury yet, and based on what I’ve read, I don’t WANT to. You’ve got to be a seventeen year old moron for posting a link to something as gross as seeing a man’s leg broken in half.
    Grow up, kid.

  62. PervyHarvin says: Dec 7, 2009 9:54 AM

    effs420 says:
    December 7, 2009 12:45 AM
    jeeeeezus the vikes got owned and exposed tonight
    to my fellow viking fans that still think they’re super bowl bound i say look at this game plus the saints’ last two games…
    it ain’t gonna happen brothers
    ===================================
    Damn dude, do you always surrender before the conflict is over?? Lots of ball left. A champion never had that attitude, shake it off!

  63. Percy Nugz says: Dec 7, 2009 10:06 AM

    This was hard to watch, especially to a person like E.J. He is one of the best middle linebackers in the league and he had a lot of class to go along with it. He wasn’t a thug and didn’t believe in taunting the opponent…. ever. He just quietly went about his business and made big plays, which makes this injury that much tougher to deal with.

  64. Adam-Chris Scheftersen says: Dec 7, 2009 10:23 AM

    Richm2256 says:
    December 7, 2009 9:31 AM
    “Here’s a link to the video of the injury: ”
    What kind of sick, immature idiot posts a link to a clip like that? I haven’t seen the injury yet, and based on what I’ve read, I don’t WANT to. You’ve got to be a seventeen year old moron for posting a link to something as gross as seeing a man’s leg broken in half.
    Grow up, kid.
    —————————
    He didn’t say he was masturbating to it or anything. Relax.

  65. Beer Cheese Soup says: Dec 7, 2009 11:08 AM

    Bob_Zombie, JimmySmits, and Cojones says:
    Let’s not have any smart remarks from the Packer usuals. Injury in the NFL is serious business. Get well soon EJ, your monster season has unfortunately been taken from you.
    ____________________________________
    Even your mancrush Bob Nelson didn’t go there, jerk. However, your OWN fanbase did when Harris and Kampman went down. Stay classy Minnesota. Go crawl in a hole.
    It’s always hard to see someone get hurt like that playing a game, but it’s especially a shame this had to happen to him in the middle of such a career-defining season. Get well soon E.J. Your team will not be the same without you.

  66. PurpleRaid12 says: Dec 7, 2009 12:45 PM

    There is no reason for Viking fans to say anything about GB Fans “Not saying stuff about EJ”. It was horrible what happened, and I feel for the guy, but I know plenty of Vike fans that said shit to Green Bay about their losses….

  67. PervyHarvin says: Dec 7, 2009 12:47 PM

    @ BeerCheese- Was that classic Anchorman?? lol

  68. effs420 says: Dec 7, 2009 1:29 PM

    # PervyHarvin says: December 7, 2009 9:54 AM
    Damn dude, do you always surrender before the conflict is over?? Lots of ball left. A champion never had that attitude, shake it off!
    ————————————————
    you act as if you’re on the team…
    hey don’t get me wrong, i still want em to go all the way but after seeing that performance combined with the saints’ last two? that’s a tall order getting that far this season.
    surrender? nah, i’m just a realist…this was the first time this season they faced real adversity. steelers and ravens games don’t count cus the vikes were winning and almost blew it. this game, however, they got dominated right away and didn’t respond well.
    i maintain my original view before the season started that the vikes’ coaching staff is the weakest link of the team and if there will be a downfall this season that is going to be it’s source.
    i hope i am wrong, i really do and i will root for me to be wrong…but i also won’t hold my breath.

  69. simple_simon1 says: Dec 7, 2009 3:08 PM

    Vikes still have a good team. I’m a Lions fan so I watch the teams in the division very carefully.
    Both Green Bay and the Vikings have good teams. I know the Vikes had their number big time in the regular season but they might be in a bit of trouble with Henderson dropping. Both are decent teams though. Feel for Henderson. That was a nasty injury. Knew the femur was broken right away when you could see the leg flopping around in the replay. Nasty deal.
    The only thing I would say is that GB has really gotten better both in defensive coverage, rushing the passer and protecting their own QB since they last played. Could eb a good one if they meet in the playoffs.
    Still don’t know if anybody can keep up with the Saints though. One of the hardest schedules in the league and still 12-0, desite a game they played awful in yesterday. And the Cardinals are dangerous if they get going too.
    Should be one hell of a playoffs this year. Just, please, no Pittsburgh. Thank you Oakland and KC!!!!

  70. sand0 says: Dec 7, 2009 4:24 PM

    Man that one hurts. Femur can very well be a career ender and he probably won’t be recovered for next season. Players were in tears over it on the sidelines. He’s the leader of the defense and is very well liked and a great person that does much in the community. Really sucks. What a bummer. Hang in there EJ.

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