MLB E.J. Henderson lost for season

One of the Vikings' best defensive players and their defensive captain is done for the season after dislocating multiple toes on his left foot last Sunday.

E.J. Henderson's season is over.

After receiving indications late Monday morning that Henderson's injury was more serious than a week on the sidelines or even a month on the sidelines would cure, confirmation came a few hours later that Henderson has been placed on injured reserve, which ends his season, a team source confirmed.

The Vikings needed to trim their active roster to 53 players by 3 p.m. Monday, according to a team source, after receiving a one-week roster exemption for left tackle Bryant McKinnie, who was returning from a four-game, league-imposed suspension. Sending Henderson to injured reserve gets the Vikings down to 53 players on the active roster, but it also is a huge blow for a defense that saw him as its leader.

Henderson dislocated multiple toes in his left foot last Sunday against the Tennessee Titans and the Vikings listed him as doubtful on Friday's injury report. However, the swelling last week was too severe to get a good idea of the extent of the injury, but Henderson was in a walking boot and declined to talk to reporters the one time he was spotted on Thursday.

He was not at practice last week during the time media is allowed to view it.

Henderson was the team's defensive captain and led the team with 36 tackles, including three for a loss, adding a sack, two passes defensed, a forced fumble, fumble return and three quarterback hurries through four games. Last year, he was a Pro Bowl alternate and appeared to be building on that reputation with his strong start to the 2008 season.

First-year pro David Herron is expected to take Henderson's place in the lineup, at least Monday night, but veteran linebacker Ben Leber will wear the helmet that gets signals relayed from the sidelines, a duty formerly applied to Henderson.

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