E.J. Henderson lays first 'live' lick, wants to play on Saturday
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MANKATO, Minn. -- E.J. Henderson finally got to tackle someone -- and he didn't miss the opportunity.
The Minnesota Vikings' middle linebacker-in-recovery smacked running back Adrian Peterson in the hole during a short-yardage drill on Tuesday afternoon, drawing a loud response from his teammates and the small group of fans who braved stormy conditions to watch the team's final "live" contact practice of training camp.
"It felt good, man," Henderson said. "Felt good to get him down, get him to the ground, the live contact, come out a'ight."
It was the Vikings' third live session and the first in which Henderson had been allowed to participate while recovering from the broken leg he suffered Dec. 6 at Arizona.
Though the team likely will exercise caution, coaches have yet to rule out Henderson for Saturday's preseason opener in St. Louis, in which starters only are likely to play a series or two anyway.
"I won't lie -- I would definitely like to play," Henderson said. "But it's up to the head coach, Leslie Frazier and the trainers to see what I do and see how it goes."
Peterson, who missed most of last week with a hamstring injury, also was participating in a live session for the first time. He got the ball five times and broke the last open down the left sideline before pulling up about 20 yards downfield.
Peterson didn't take another snap and appeared to be trying to stretch out the hamstring as he left the field. He refused attention from trainers on the sideline and later jogged to the locker room with teammates.
• Practice had been rescheduled from Tuesday morning because of weather, but the afternoon session also was cut short. Ominous clouds arrived shortly after practice began, and all team (11-on-11) drills were held inside Blakeslee Stadium, where a steady downpour ended the session after a little more than an hour.
• Both the first- and second-team offenses went three-and-out in their first cracks at the chew-the-clock drill. The starters got a second chance, and Peterson and rookie RB Toby Gerhart each ran for a first down.
• Final passing stats in team drills: Jackson 4-for-6, Sage Rosenfels 3-for-5, Webb 3-for-4.