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.


Erin Henderson fine after ankle injury that was 'on fire'

Posted by: Updated: August 23, 2013 - 1:39 PM

Erin Henderson admits there was at least an instant of intense worry when he had the back of his left foot stepped on during Thursday’s practice. The middle linebacker’s ankle was cut open in the back near his Achilles tendon and the initial sensation was powerful.

“Really, really painful,” Henderson said. “I’ve been playing ball since I was 7 years old and I’ve never had anything like that happen to me before. … It was on fire. There was a little bit of fire down there. But once it calmed down a little bit, then I realized it wasn’t too bad.”

Henderson didn’t practice Friday as the Vikings finished up preparation for this weekend’s preseason game in San Francisco. But the starting middle linebacker will be on the field and at full-go Sunday at Candlestick Park.

“Nothing to be worried about,” Henderson said.

Audie Cole continued to take reps with the first-unit Friday in Henderson’s place. But the defense should be close to full strength for the first half against the 49ers. Henderson said he’s looking forward to the challenge of facing San Francisco’s read-option offense after two previous preseason tests against Houston’s zone rushing attack and Buffalo’s no-huddle, up-tempo packages.

“We’ve gotten a whole array thrown at us this preseason,” Henderson said. “I think it’s really good for us as a defense to be able to get some of these different looks and figure out where problem spots might be for us and what we need to work on and what we have to improve upon in order to be ready for the season.”

As for Thursday’s injury, Henderson also acknowledged he may have dodged two serious bullets. Just a moment after his ankle was injured, he stumbled across the sideline and kicked a cooler out of frustration.

“I think the cooler might have won that battle,” he joked. “Actually, I looked down just in time and saw that there was a wet towel. So I assumed it was kind of full so I kind of backed off when I kicked in.”

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Atlanta 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Miami 5 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Nathan 6
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Toronto 4
Cincinnati 13 FINAL
Cleveland 2
Los Angeles 9 FINAL
Chicago WSox 6
Kansas City 3 FINAL
Seattle 0
Seattle 1 FINAL
Milwaukee 15
San Diego 3 FINAL
Arizona 3
NY Mets 8 FINAL
Washington 3
LA Angels 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 4
Colorado 3 FINAL
Texas 6
Oakland 6 FINAL
San Francisco 4
Indiana 107 FINAL
Milwaukee 111
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Carolina 5
New Jersey 2 FINAL(OT)
Washington 3
Los Angeles 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Arizona 4 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 3
Anaheim 3 FINAL(OT)
Boston 2
Nashville 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
NY Rangers 5 FINAL
Ottawa 1
Florida 4 FINAL
Toronto 1
Montreal 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Colorado 4 FINAL
Vancouver 1
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Wisconsin 79
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Arizona 68
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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