Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Henderson injures heel, leaves practice early

Posted by: Chip Scoggins Updated: August 22, 2013 - 4:17 PM

Middle linebacker Erin Henderson suffered a cut on his left heel when he was stepped on while covering a pass in practice Thursday.

Henderson had blood on his heel after he removed his socks and cleats. Vikings athletic trainers treated his ankle and Henderson returned briefly but he returned to the locker room before practice ended.

"Erin got stepped on but he should be fine," coach Leslie Frazier said.

Second-year player Audie Cole took over in the middle in Henderson's absence.

"He has really improved and having a full offseason with us has helped him," Frazier said of Cole. "We have a lot more confidence in him today as middle linebacker than we did a year ago this time obviously as a rookie. He's beginning to show some leadership ability, which you need at the middle linebacker position. I think he's going to be a capable guy if something were to happen to Erin."

A few other post-practice notes:

  • Left guard Charlie Johnson missed practice because of a family matter and will not practice Friday either. Frazier said he expects Johnson to travel and play Sunday night.
  • Wide receiver Jarius Wright (concussion) was on the field and but didn't participate in drills. Frazier indicated that Wright likely won't play Sunday night and that he still needs to pass one test protocol before he gets final clearance.
  • The coaching staff is treating this like a regular game week. Frazier even had crowd noise piped in during practice. "I thought it would be the right thing to do if we're going to treat everything else like it's a true game situation."
  • The depth at defensive tackle has taken a hit with Sharrif Floyd (knee) and Christian Ballard (personal)not available. "We don't want to overwork Kevin [Williams]," Frazier said. Frazier said Chase Baker will get additional playing time as the team gets a longer look at him. "He's had a good camp and he does some things to make you take notice," Frazier said. "This is a golden opportunity for him." 

 

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