E.J. Henderson: I'll be 'ready to rock' by camp

Vikings middle linebacker E.J. Henderson suffered a devastating injury in Week 13 of last season, fracturing his femur against the Cardinals.  Henderson was immediately immobilized on the field.  He required season-ending surgery, and could walk only with the use of a cane for several months thereafter.

The Vikings, though, have been cautiously optimistic about Henderson’s recovery all along.  And E.J. is even more upbeat after recently resuming running at full speed.
Henderson told Tom Pelissero of ESPN Twin Cities on Friday that he’ll be “ready to rock” at the start of training camp.
The healthy return of Henderson would provide a lift to Minnesota’s defense.  The Vikings run a Tampa 2-style scheme that frequently requires its middle linebacker to drop into deep coverage.  Late-season replacement Jasper Brinkley showed in spot starts last year that he could support the run, but his cover skills were poor.
Henderson is considered one of the top cover linebackers in the game.

41 responses to “E.J. Henderson: I'll be 'ready to rock' by camp

  1. Henderson will be ready to get rocked by the Saints offense. They will put that “top cover linebacker” label to the test. He couldn’t even cover a dehydrated Shockey.
    Maybe he’ll do another leg trick like he did against the cardinals, that was a badass move like I’ve never seen before. He must’ve spend a lot of time practicing that maneuver. He should’ve saved it for the halftime stunt show though, really sweet performance.

  2. Good to see him recovering well…that was pretty scary when he got hurt. Best of luck, EJ.
    GO PACK!

  3. who is this silva and what is he doing writing a story about the vikes? thats your area florio! E.J. is a great MLB but he is not one of the better cover LBs in the league. i would actually argue that we were better off in passing situations with E.J out because both leber and greenway were better in coverage. E.J has been my favorite viking over the last five years, but Jasper did just fine after his first couple starts and we will not miss his presence a whole lot if he is unable to go at the start of the season.

  4. F@cking yes! EJ is a beast and lights up people regularly. Would be huge to have him back…

  5. welcome back EJ – here is to a complete healthy recovery and EJ playing in 19 games of hard nosed, bone crushing style that we are used to!! Florio you forgot to mention he is one hell of a hitter!!

  6. I was at that game. Gruesome injury. He was on the field for what seemed like an eternity. The injury was so bad that they refused to show it on the screen. I’m glad he’s back at full speed. His return to the MLB position will upgrade an already awesome defense.

  7. Hell Yeah! Vikes are going to do some serious damage this year. New Orleans…… Who what?

  8. good to hear. never want to see a player get so injured that it ruins their career or effects them for life.

  9. Evan get real. “One of the best best pass defense LB’s?”
    Do you do any fact checking before writing that stuff?
    In 7 seasons he has defensed 11 passes or 1.5 a year. In 7 seasons he has 2 INT’s (both in 2006).
    He averages 57 tackles a season. For a middle linebacker that is terrible.
    Good luck trying to come back from injury but he isn’t very good before the injury.

  10. Bob Nelson says: but he isn’t very good before the injury.
    We all can sit back confidently now Bob and say nothing. You just proved what us Viking fans knew all along…you don’t know jack shit!!

  11. Ok, E.J., we’re gonna need that handicapped parking spot placquard hanging on your rearview mirror back…
    fractured femur? Wuss

  12. Bob Nelson says:
    June 4, 2010 3:34 PM
    Evan get real. “One of the best best pass defense LB’s?”
    Do you do any fact checking before writing that stuff?
    In 7 seasons he has defensed 11 passes or 1.5 a year. In 7 seasons he has 2 INT’s (both in 2006).
    Hey Asshat…could it be because no one wants to throw his way? Stats dont tell the entire picture. Nnamdi Asomugha only defended FOUR passes last year…FOUR! He must suck right? Nope, teams just dont want to throw his way. Thanks for being the poster-child for Packer Fans. You are the reason Packer fans are laughed at on this site.

  13. Hell, E.J. “Leg” Benderson barely even matches up to Hunter Hillenmeyer (especially in coverage), and Hillenmeyer’s got nothing on Urlacher:
    Hillenmeyer vs. Benderson:
    Games: 14 – 12
    Combined Tackles: 80 -93
    Total: 65 – 63
    Assists: 25 – 20
    Sacks: 2.5 – 2
    Fumbles Forced: 4 – 0
    Passes Defensed: 5 – 1
    Interceptions: 1 – 0
    Interception Return Yds: 0 -0
    Total Touchdowns: 0 – 0
    Surprise–MORE delusion from Queens fans.

  14. As a Packer fan, it’s tough for me to pick a ‘favorite’ Viking, but Henderson is a great linebacker and it was a bummer seeing that injury. He’s a tough S.O.B., to come back from that so soon.
    Also, as Packer fan, I’d like to point out to Bob Nelson that stats don’t tell the whole story, and the Viking defense missed his presence. You want to point out horrible linebacker stats, pull up AJ Hawk’s.

  15. Bob Nelson…what are you smoking? What kind of facts are those?
    EJ averages 76 tackles (solo and assists) a season. He also missed 20 games over 7 years due to injury. So his actual average discounting games he missed is 93 a year. Not bad.
    Also you can’t really say he is bad in pass coverage because he has only broken up 11 passes. Youd need to know how often was the receiver he was covering targeted and how many of those attemps were completed.

  16. “In 7 seasons he has defensed 11 passes or 1.5 a year. In 7 seasons he has 2 INT’s (both in 2006).
    He averages 57 tackles a season. For a middle linebacker that is terrible.”
    So I took your advice, and you should talk. I don’t really care about the pass defense stats, but he does have 13 PDs in his career. You’re wrong there…
    He’s average 57 SOLO tackles a year during his career, or 76 TOTAL tackles a year. Included in those totals are the past two years when he got hurt (curiously, those two years he played a total of 16 games and had 110 tackles), and his first two years when he wasn’t a full time starter. As a full time starter in 2006 and 2007, when he was able to avoid injury, EJ had 110 (77 solo) and 118 (94 solo). Those are the years, along with the past two injury marred seasons that people are talking about when discussing how good EJ has become.
    But for fun, I’ll play your stat game. Did you know Aaron Rodgers only averages 1760 yards passing per year? Josh Freeman averages 1855 yards passing per year, so he must be better.

  17. Hey Packer Fans – Your boy Bob Nelson is the reason you are laughed at so much on PFT. Just an FYI.

  18. It’s always funny and sad at the same time to read the comments from Vikings fans desperate for any sign of hope that this might be their year. Even if Henderson is healthy it will be another year of No Rings For You!

  19. I think you meant to say, he used to be one of the best cover linebackers in the game. It remains to be seen if he can come back and if so, at what level? I like Henderson, he plays hard but who really knows after an injury that bad.
    The Vikings are eternally optimistic, who else could trade up for a Division II QB who sucks, trade away a draft pick for another QB who sucks, and then spend $12 million on yet another QB who can’t seem to break his bad habit of throwing INT’s at the worst possible time in all his playoff games in the last decade.
    And you would have to be optimistic to be a fan of this team, assemble that much talent and then blow it all by giving the keys to Col Klink. That’s like putting Betty White behind the wheel of the fastest race car in the Indy 500. The car might be built to win but you have no chance with Betty driving.

  20. OK, Bob Nelson……time to go back down to your Mom’s basement now….
    While you’re down there….maybe watch some tape of EJ Henderson playing middle linebacker. He’s pretty good at it.

  21. Jeez, Bob. How about you use stats where he actually started (he didn’t his first season) and also played more than 12 games? When you do that he averages nearly 100 tackles/season. And, hey, how about you mention that he was getting better every season before his toe and then femur injuries? 110 tackles in ’06 and 118 in ’07. Then add his combined 8 sacks, 2 INTs, 4 forced fumbles and 8 defended passes in those two years and he’s bordering on Pro Bowl territory. He was on his way to 100+ tackles again in ’09 before going down with the injury (82 in 12 games with 2 sacks) despite not looking as sharp early.
    However I would agree calling him one of the top cover linebackers in the game is pushing it. You’d really need some stats of other MLBs to back up that statement.

  22. As usual, Bob Nelson pulls some numbers out of his ass. Check out ProFootballFocus.com and their ratings of every player at every position. EJ in 2007 and 2009 was a top-ten inside linebacker (he was in IR in 2008). His cover skills improved from 2007 to 2009. EJ is a warrior and if he comes back like he did in 2009, watch out.

  23. It’s getting pretty obvious that ‘Evan Silva’ is every bit the Vikings fan that Florio is.

  24. Bob Nelson = Inaccurate Stat Man
    57 Tackles?? You mean 57 Solo Tackles, which doesn’t account for all his combined tackles.
    Plus, EJ didn’t start a single game his first year, and was out 12 games because of injury in 2008. So throw out those years if you want his true production as a starter.
    7 Yrs Comb. Tackles: 76
    5 Yrs Comb. Tackles: 95
    Go to your Packer Chat board Bob, stay out of the real world where the rest of us live.

  25. actually bob, the two seasons that E.J has started all 16 games he had over 100 tackles. last year he played in 12 games and had 83 tackles…that is not the least bit shabby.

    You make it hard to rip on GB fans when you say classy stuff. Maybe that’s why I have a lot of ‘Scony buddies.

  27. Good job averaging the tackles per season Bob Nelson you bastard….
    Ever since 2006, EJ has done a great job in the tampa 2 becoming a full time starter… Something he wasn’t always when Tice was in Minnesota. EJ Henderson started at ROLB due to an injury to Chad Greenway and did a good job playing or of postion for us that year… He has done a great job at MLB since he moved back there in 2007.
    So to be fair, I added up EJ’s total tackles since 2006 which is 337. Now since he did not play 2 full seasons it wouldn’t be fair to average by 4 full seasons. However if you average by the total games played EJ averages 7 tackles a game (337 divided by 48 total games played) Pretty damn solid if you ask me. Not to mention his sack total has increased since the move to the Tampa 2… So yeah I would have to say is a good Tampa 2 MLB Bob Nelson…

  28. One the most gruesome injuries I’ve ever seen, anybody who can walk after that without pain let alone play middle linebacker in the NFL is amazing.
    When healthy he is one of the top 10 MLB’s in the NFL. And one of the best at defending the run. Period. The tackle in ’08 vs Carolina, and ’07 just before halftime vs Chicago were NFL films highlight material
    100+ tkls in ’06, ’07, well on his way last year with 83 before the injury in wk 13. Dudes a beast and looks like the predator sometime with how fast and furious he is.
    Good luck EJ, we’ll need ya if we want to finish what we started last year

  29. Good luck trying to come back from injury but he isn’t very good before the injury.
    So when did Pro Bowl = isnt very good???
    bob nelson = hater
    Get a life dude

  30. OUCH!!
    If he comes back anywhere close to what he was…it will be a great comeback!

    That injury was one of the reasons why Brett Favre’s streak is so awesome. You never know when something is going to happen.
    And this from a Packers fan. Get well E.J.

  31. Say what you want about misleading stats – EJ and good coverage LB do not belong in the same sentence.
    Vikings fans know that.
    Like what was said, on passing downs we’re much better off with Leber and Greenway.
    He’s not horrible but saying he is/was one of the best simply isn’t true.
    Love him as a player and a warrior mind you!!!

  32. After that injury I’m surprised he’s walking right now. Good for him though, he’s a great young linebacker with huge upside.

  33. I had pretty much given up hope that this site could be anything but an insult fest. This thread proves that wrong. Packer fans saying good things about a Viking! Thanks to the posters here who have some class, and respect for others here. Refreshing.

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