Vikings' LB depth a concern

Posted Sept. 17, 2011 @ 3:38 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

The possible loss Sunday of MLB E.J. Henderson only underscores a glaring fact that had become evident in the preseason: The Vikings' LB depth is poor. Henderson's injury hurts even more because his natural backup, Jasper Brinkley, is out for the season. The team added Xavier Adibi, who was cut by the Texans two weeks ago, but he is still trying to grasp the scheme and getting his feet wet. The other two reserve linebackers on the team, Larry Dean and Kenny Onatolu, are former undrafted free agents who play primarily on special teams. Henderson plays a large role for the Vikings, staying in on all three downs, which is a bit unusual for some middle linebackers. You could see the team lean more on its nickel package, as No. 3 CB Chris Cook had a decent first game this season. But it doesn't address what the Vikings would miss if Henderson can't go against the Buccaneers.