Oct 21, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson (50) against the Arizona Cardinals at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Cardinals 21-14. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Erin Henderson enters OTAs as Minnesota Vikings’ top choice for middle linebacker

The Minnesota Vikings will have many options for how they will replace Jasper Brinkley at middle linebacker in 2013, but they will start out the offseason by looking in-house.

More specifically, linebacker Erin Henderson will get the first crack at it.

Henderson said coaches have told him he likely will open organized team activities (OTAs) at the position, according to Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

A shift of Henderson to middle linebacker likely means former Penn St. linebacker Gerald Hodges, the team’s fourth-round pick in this year’s draft, will get the first look at the outside linebacker position originally held by Henderson. The Vikings already told Hodges that they expect him to have an impact right away and team director of college scouting Scott Studwell recently said that Hodges projects as an outside linebacker for the team.

What happens in the early part of rookie camp and OTAs will determine if this positioning sticks. If it is determined that Hodges is not ready to step in right away, the team may be forced to move Henderson back out and acquire a veteran linebacker such as Brian Urlacher.

Tags: Erin Henderson Gerald Hodges Minnesota Vikings

  • 3kolu

    This could turn out to be a perfect storm for the Vikes. Henderson was already the nickel MLB, and just needs to learn to stick to his assignment. Too many times he was out of position last year and he needs to minimize his mistakes.

    • Josh Hill

      I’ve always liked Erin Henderson, so this is something I’m in full support of. Dude’s finally getting a chance to show his worth, let’s hope he takes advantage of it.

  • dave

    this is a great chance for both Erin and Hodges… let’s see what exactly we got and how far they can take the defense… Awesome move