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Erin Henderson: I cannot be more grateful for arrests


When Erin Henderson was arrested on DUI charges on January 1, it was his second arrest on the same charges in six weeks and it led to the linebacker’s release from the Vikings.

It also led him to try to get his life back in order. In a statement given to TMZ, Henderson wrote that he “cannot be more grateful” for the second arrest because it forced him to realize that he was on a path that was causing damage to his family, his career and himself. He was released from jail on January 2 and went directly into rehab at Hazelden, writing that he knew he needed to do something to better his future and that he knew he couldn’t do it alone.

Henderson says he never imagined “the worst experience in my life would turn out to be the best things that ever happen to me,” but that’s how he feels about the entire episode. In an interview with Tom Pelissero of USA Today, Henderson explained just how much his drinking was affecting his ability to do his job.

“There would be times where I would come to practice hung over,” Henderson said. “Never just fresh off of drinking coming into practice. But I might have had a rough night the night before, and I’d be in front of the huddle calling plays. And everybody would know that I had been out drinking the night before. Of course, that affects the ability to go out there and perform and be the best that you can be. But I’d been doing it for so long and it’s something that I had gotten used to.”

Henderson told Pelissero that he’s interested in seeing how he can play now that he’s sober and spoke with certainty about continuing his career. In his statement, though, Henderson said that his sobriety takes precedence at the moment.

“Football is my god given talent, and that is something that will thrive through triumph. However the most important thing for me right now is maintaining my sobriety,” Henderson wrote. “If I continue down the path I have started on I know I will leave a legacy off the field that my family and I can be proud of for years to come.”

Whatever happens with his playing career, it’s encouraging to see Henderson addressing a problem that was threatening a lot more than that before he checked into rehab.


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41 Responses to “Erin Henderson: I cannot be more grateful for arrests”
  1. gtodriver says: Apr 9, 2014 7:12 AM

    Best wishes to you in your rehab Erin!

  2. 84smooninlambeaunevergetsold says: Apr 9, 2014 7:16 AM

    I wouldn’t say football is your “god given talent”, or radio for that matter. I’d say you’re pretty good at being a hothead, though.

  3. Indybear says: Apr 9, 2014 7:28 AM

    Good for him. Glad he recognized his problem and is seeking treatment, which will be long-term. Hope he stays healthy and is productive, with or without football. This from a Bear fan.

  4. jeromegarcia says: Apr 9, 2014 7:28 AM

    AFC south 2014 rankins:
    1. Jags
    2. Colts
    3. Texans
    4. Titans


  5. sketchydave says: Apr 9, 2014 7:31 AM

    Hopefully one bills drive gives him a call, brings him in. Low risk, on the cheap and can play with his old linebackers coach.

    We could use another ej. They’re jealous of the multiple Williams.

    Go bills

  6. indywilson40 says: Apr 9, 2014 7:36 AM

    It sounds good.

  7. khmer379 says: Apr 9, 2014 7:40 AM


  8. chalkruz1989 says: Apr 9, 2014 7:56 AM

    Mistakes are imminent, it’s when you realize your mistakes and set out to correct them that makes you stronger.

    Good for Erin Henderson for coming out and speaking the truth. He has a long road ahead of him but he’s halfway there, acknowledging your poor decision making is the first step.

  9. chmura97 says: Apr 9, 2014 7:57 AM

    He would be great for the packers,he would help an awful linebacker corp,but I don’t know if he’s old enough!

  10. duece5 says: Apr 9, 2014 7:58 AM

    Erin……..I hope you get the help you need…….BUT, I am glad it will be on another team, as I witnessed some of the worst MLB play ever.

    Nothing personal, but good grief…….another reason why we needed to clean house, as the coaching staff couldn’t even figure out your situation. Audie Cole came in and was an IMMEDIATE upgrade!!!

    Hope you get the help, as you will need it!!!

  11. thetooloftools says: Apr 9, 2014 8:17 AM

    become a role model as a man and the rest will take care of it’self.

  12. bigwinintx says: Apr 9, 2014 8:21 AM

    It’s a slippery slope my man.
    The only way to keep yourself clean is to rid yourself of those around you who influence you to drink.
    Shake the fleas off and surround yourself with people who want your best interest at heart and you have a much better chance to redeem your life and career.
    Keep the same riff-raff around and you’ll be jobless and back in the slammer.

    It’s really simple:
    “You are who you run with.”
    Jim Rome

  13. lovemyqueens says: Apr 9, 2014 8:36 AM

    Rip his career.

  14. irishinyourface says: Apr 9, 2014 9:04 AM

    i’m sure you have more in your future, homie

  15. 1uniquename says: Apr 9, 2014 9:08 AM

    If he really wants to test his sobriety then come down here to Miami, it’s the ultimate test.

  16. realnflmaster says: Apr 9, 2014 9:11 AM

    Too soft to be a JET.

  17. ariani1985 says: Apr 9, 2014 9:11 AM

    Erin, you should also be thankful that you never had to listen to clown music and play for the pathetic packer defense!

  18. thegonz13 says: Apr 9, 2014 9:21 AM

    It’s unfortunate that his moment of lucidity came after two arrests.

    It will be a daily uphill battle but with the proper help, it will be somewhat easier.

    Best of luck to you, Erin!

  19. upperdecker19 says: Apr 9, 2014 9:34 AM

    We’re grateful for the arrests, too!

    Civilized Society

  20. theytukrjobs says: Apr 9, 2014 9:39 AM

    I don’t know man. This dude used to call into the radio station all the time talking like he wasn’t big into drinking and all that.

  21. bigpoppa5501 says: Apr 9, 2014 9:42 AM

    Good luck to you Erin, sounds like you may be maturing a bit.

  22. nicofthenorthstar says: Apr 9, 2014 9:44 AM

    Good to hear. Hope this guy can stay on the straight and narrow.

  23. fwippel says: Apr 9, 2014 9:56 AM

    Good luck, Erin. Stay straight, man.

  24. bzillaz says: Apr 9, 2014 10:12 AM

    I wish him the best. At this point, however, only your actions will represent you, not your words.

  25. Celebrity Man Guy says: Apr 9, 2014 10:18 AM

    Maybe he can be a much better player if he isn’t drinking. I wish him the best and I hope he gets a chance with some other team.

  26. 84smooninlambeaunevergetsold says: Apr 9, 2014 10:22 AM

    I’m all for someone getting the help they need, but for a guy to come out and say this cliche, only after he’s arrested for the 2nd time, and now off of an NFL team, is typical. Unless he’s shown he’s cleaned up, and changes his terrible attitude around, then I’m not buying it.

  27. deadeye says: Apr 9, 2014 10:45 AM

    I hope the sobriety sticks. Sometimes people really do learn from their moral failures, and the legal system is often the wake up call.

  28. jazz11001 says: Apr 9, 2014 10:45 AM

    The guy is extremely intelligent and well spoken. He is a student of the game. Listen to any interview with him and you will walk away amazed at how well thought out and fluent he is. The guy has a solid career in announcing for sure if he wants it.

  29. dethsupport says: Apr 9, 2014 10:49 AM

    Great, thanks for being an awesome linebacker the last couple years. I’m sure your teammates are impressed by the effort as well.

  30. purpleguy says: Apr 9, 2014 11:08 AM

    Wish him all the best, but he really just wasn’t that good of a LB.

  31. grayone77 says: Apr 9, 2014 11:43 AM

    Then why did he plead not guilty?

  32. Norseman says: Apr 9, 2014 11:44 AM

    I think that speaks to coaching for the Vikings last year when the captain of the defense, at least in terms of play-calling, is obviously got a drinking problem and he was given the starting role and kept in that role almost the whole year- and with the LB position group a concern from the beginning of last year’s off-season.

    Undoubtedly that had to have been a major demoralizing influence on the Vikings defensive performance last year.

    Where was Leslie Frazier, Mike Singletary, and Alan Williams when Henderson shows up hung-over and everybody knows it?

    That’s a big reason why they all got fired.

  33. jgedgar70 says: Apr 9, 2014 11:48 AM

    Notice how he put all the blame on himself, didn’t lash out at or blame others, and placed the highest priority on staying clean?

    Sure would be nice if all the others who have similar problems would do the same. I hope he makes it.

  34. gburr75 says: Apr 9, 2014 12:50 PM

    Time to wake up Erin! Not many of us get 2nd or 3rd chances. Make the best of it while you still can! And best of luck!

  35. gbmickey says: Apr 9, 2014 12:55 PM

    Playing on that God forsaken team would drive anyone to drink.

  36. purplehaze28 says: Apr 9, 2014 12:55 PM

    Wish you the best!

  37. jcbadger34 says: Apr 9, 2014 1:22 PM

    Of course he’s grateful for the arrests. They led to him getting cut by the Vikings. Anyone would be grateful to leave that awful team.

  38. scottpavek says: Apr 9, 2014 2:09 PM

    As a person, I’m glad that Henderson sought treatment for his addiction.

  39. ragnarthegreat says: Apr 9, 2014 2:16 PM

    I am a little disappointed that the coaches didn’t address this during the year. If the defense players knew he was hung over, so did the coaches. Jared Allen was seen saying this is the worst defense I’ve ever been on. No wonder, with your middle linebacker hung over in the huddle. I thought Leslie Frazier was strong enough not to tolerate this. Maybe it’s best he is gone too. I am glad EH is getting the help he needs.

  40. Frazier28/7 says: Apr 9, 2014 2:19 PM

    you should be studying tape late at night, not drinking. if you turned a corner, that’s awesome.

    players have the rest of their lives to be drunks and potheads but can’t seem to wait until they’ve wasted a chance to make millions. good luck in selling insurance erin, hopefuly you can make the best out of whatever you do and saved the money you made in the nfl.

  41. taintedsaints2009 says: Apr 9, 2014 2:23 PM

    i have always believed bryant mckinnie came to every single game hungover or still drunk while a viking. he just had that “walk” to him. that very controlled walk that is aiming not to tip over

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