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 before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Here's why Henderson didn't play in the Pro Bowl

Posted by: under Vikings, AFC, Lions, NFC, E.J. Henderson, Kevin Williams Updated: January 31, 2011 - 3:15 PM

There was some confusion on Sunday about why Vikings middle linebacker E.J. Henderson didn't play for the NFC in the Pro Bowl after he was named as a replacement for the Saints' Jonathan Vilma last week.

It turns out there was nothing wrong with Henderson.

What happened was Vilma had informed the league he could not take part in the game for personal reasons but then came back and said he could participate. This created a situation in which the NFL already had invited Henderson but he wasn't needed in uniform. He was considered to be available as an emergency replacement.

An NFL spokesman said because Henderson had been brought to Honolulu that he will earn the $45,000 winners' share that went to members of the NFC for their 55-41 victory over the AFC. The NFL also will get credit Henderson with the first Pro Bowl appearance of his career, despite the fact he did not play.

Vilma, by the way, started and finished with two tackles.

While Henderson will be considered a Pro Bowl player for the 2010 season, the same will not hold true for defensive tackle Kevin Williams. Williams was picked as an injury replacement for the Lions' Ndamukong Suh but declined the invitation because he and his wife are expecting a child.

While Williams would have been considered a Pro Bowl player if he had been selected to the team initially, the fact he did not go after being a late addition means in the NFL's view he does not get credit for a Pro Bowl appearance. The Vikings, however, will have the ability to list Williams as a Pro Bowl selection if they so choose.



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