Found September 21, 2012 on
Fox Sports North:
San Francisco 49ers
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Facing one of the league's top running offenses and an elite pass-catching tight end, the Minnesota Vikings will be without starting linebacker Erin Henderson this weekend.
Henderson, who leads Minnesota with 26 tackles and two sacks, is out for Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers with a concussion. Free-agent signee Marvin Mitchell will start in Henderson's place as weakside linebacker and starting middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley will assume Henderson's role in the nickel defense.
"We'll miss him; there's no question about it," coach Leslie Frazier said after Friday's practice. "But it gives someone else an opportunity. Marvin Mitchell will get a chance now. It will get Audie Cole up as well and gives those guys a chance to play. That's part of our game. Injuries do occur. That's why your roster, you hope, is deep enough where you don't have a big drop off."
Backup defensive end D'Aundre Reed was listed as out with a calf strain. Henderson's absence is a big one against San Francisco (2-0), who is third in the league in rushing with lead back Frank Gore, and a passing game that features tight end Vernon Davis, already a matchup nightmare for most linebackers.
Mitchell, 27, was signed as a free-agent by Minnesota in the offseason, giving the team a veteran backup who has seen extensive action. In his six NFL seasons, Mitchell has played 71 games, mostly on special teams, but has started twice. The depth at linebacker was a concern for the Vikings after elevating Brinkley to a starting role and letting veteran E.J. Henderson go unsigned in free agency.
But after challenging for a starting spot with Erin Henderson early in training camp, Mitchell suffered a high ankle sprain and missed two weeks. He's been deactivated each of the first two weeks of the regular season and is officially listed as probable for Sunday because of the ankle injury.
Mitchell says he's recovered from the injury and is ready for his start on Sunday after coming to Minnesota hoping for the chance to start and play more in a defensive role instead of his special teams specialty.
"I think it was to start playing more defense," Mitchell said of the decision to come to Minnesota. "I've been in this league six years and I had a couple starts here and there, special teams guy. I visited with teams and the opportunity to come in and have a chance to be that backup linebacker and get a chance to start, would it be there?"
Brinkley's role as the nickel linebacker will also be challenged. Since the offseason program, Brinkley has wanted to prove to doubters he can be more than the run-stuffing linebacker he's been labeled. He will get his chance, and will be responsible at times for covering the deep middle part of the field in Minnesota's Cover-2 defense.
Brinkley filled in for a few plays in the nickel defense last week when Henderson came out of the game.
"You like for him to be able to handle some of the things that come up in pass situations," Frazier said. "A lot more happens, of course, in nickel situations than when you're in base offense from a pass standpoint. You like to see him be able to be in the right spot, and when he has opportunities to make plays, make those plays."
"This will be his chance just to show his teammates along with everyone else, 'You know what? I can do more than play on first and second down.' It's a great opportunity for him and I know he's looking forward to it."
Henderson left Sunday's game at Indianapolis after getting hit while trying to make a tackle. He later returned and Frazier said there were no signs of a concussion on Sunday. After two days, Henderson started to feel symptoms and was given a concussion test before Wednesday's practice and it was ruled a concussion.
The Vikings listed center John Sullivan (ankle), safety Andrew Sendejo (ankle), cornerback Chris Cook (biceps), tight end Rhett Ellison (ankle), defensive end Brian Robison (elbow) and receiver Jarius Wright (ankle) as probable for Sunday after each player was a full participant in Friday's practice.
Robison, a starting defensive end, has been practicing with a large brace on the elbow.
Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The day will soon come when Brett Favre and the Packers decide to play nice. The way their relationship ended was obviously less than ideal, but time heals all. When you consider the fact that Favre played 16 seasons with the Packers and brought Green Bay a Super Bowl, it would be crazy to think the feud will last forever.
During a recent interview with ESPN’s Mike Tirico, Favre...
Antoine Winfield is trying to instill a sense of urgency in a young Minnesota Vikings secondary that has made some critical mistakes late in the first two games this season.
The veteran cornerback called the entire team together, including coaches and executives, this week for a 10-minute talk about the importance of focusing and finishing in the closing moments. Winfield didn&...
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. The Minnesota Vikings don't want to be fooled again.
Last season, Minnesota looked at the positives during its first three games -- when it held big halftime leads before letting wins slip away during disastrous second halves -- and was convinced cleaning up a few areas would turn the season around.
That turned out to be fool's purple and gold, and...
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Through eight months of rehab for a torn ACL, Adrian Peterson couldn't think of anything more than getting the chance to run the ball in a game again. Now that he has returned to the field, the Minnesota Vikings' top running back knows he can't do it alone.Preparing for Sunday' game at home against the stout San Francisco 49ers run defense, Peterson...
Minnesota Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson has missed his second straight day of practice as he is suffering from concussion symptoms.
Henderson was hurt last week against the Indianapolis Colts, but it was not recognized until Wednesday. Henderson had been practicing and felt fine until he told coach Leslie Frazier that he "did not feel right". With how bad concussions...
Happy wife happy life T...
It looks like the old gunslinger and his wife Deanna are totally back to being happy. Check out Father Tommy Conway, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Hattiesburg with Brett and Dianna Favre and the Heisman Trophy. I’m sure he snapped a few pics of the Heisman with his cell phone.-TO
Brett Favre Pubic Hair For Sale
Stuff Packers Fans Say
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. The Minnesota Vikings are tied atop the NFC North after splitting the first two games of the season, but a sense of urgency crept into Winter Park this week with the team preparing for Sunday's game against the 2-0 San Francisco 49ers.
Losing a close, perhaps winnable game, at Indianapolis last week caused some of Minnesota's veterans to speak up this...
(Eds: APNewsNow. With AP Photos.) By DAVE CAMPBELL AP Pro Football Writer Jared Allen and the Minnesota Vikings had Andrew Luck on the run, forcing the Indianapolis rookie out of bounds to bring up fourth down in the third quarter with the Colts leading by 11 points.
This was an important moment, with the Vikings in need of a momentum shift. The punt never came because Allen was...
Cover Your Eyes, Children! Here's what you would be doing if you loved your children this Sunday. Instead of sitting them down in front of the San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings football game, you would instead tell them that you love them, that you care for them, and that you want them to live a better life than what you have lived. That life includes transgender...
The San Francisco 49ers have torn through the top two teams in the NFC North from last season in the first two weeks of the season, and in Week 3 they face the Minnesota Vikings. Will San Francisco continue their domination of the NFC North, or will the Vikings stage an epic upset? Let’s take a look at three bold predictions for this Sunday’s game.Christian Ponder has his...
The Vikings didn’t know that LB Erin Henderson suffered a concussion until Wednesday, three days after it happened. He missed another day of practice Thursday.
Vikings outside linebacker Erin Henderson missed practice because of a concussion that presumably was sustained in Sunday's loss at Indianapolis and will have to pass the NFL-mandated post-concussion tests before being allowed back onto the field.
Center John Sullivan (ankle) was limited in practice. Everyone else had full participation, according to today's injury report...