Henderson: Missing time for "personal reasons" unrelated to his arrest
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The same day the Pioneer Press reported on Erin Henderson's arrest, the linebacker addressed the media in the Vikings locker room. He first apologized to his teammates and the organization and then answered questions without providing much clarity to his situation with the team.
Henderson was arrested Nov. 19 on suspicion of DWI, according to the Pioneer Press. He registered a blood-alcohol content of 0.11, which is over the legal limit to drive.
Last week, Henderson missed three practices and Sunday's game against the Packers, which he said was a mutual decision with the team. That absence, which the team said was for "personal reasons" was apparently unrelated to his arrest, Henderson said.
"It's a personal issue. It was more personal than anything else," Henderson said Wednesday. "We knew this issue happened, that it came up and that it happened. But the main reason for me to miss practice was not that, though."
He later continued: "All parties involved felt that it might be best to kind of step away from the game for a second." Henderson did not dismiss the suggestion that he wasn't in the proper state of mind to play. Leslie Frazier, who said he knew about the rest last week, would not address specifically the reason Henderson missed the week, multiple times citing that it was a "personal matter." General Manager Rick Spielman released a statement, in which he called the multiple arrests from players "unacceptable and disappointing," but he did not address the media.
Henderson said his lawyers advised him to not go into too much detail on the arrest. He said missing Sunday's game was a wake-up call. It wasn't immediately clear what he meant by that, but he said he'd prefer not to elaborate.
"You know, [last week] was eye-opening, honestly. It was a wake-up call for me and, honestly, it may be something that I needed in the long run; something I think will help me progress and become the person I'm capable of being and the man that I want to be. It was a tough situation having to sit at home and watch your teammates and watch your guys go out there to battle. You never want to be at home in a situation like that."
A reporter then asked what Henderson meant when he said that he 'needed' a week like last week.
"You want to progress. You want to get better. You want to mature. You want to grow up and you want to do things a certain way. But sometimes you can't get out of your own way. But I think something like this will give me the opportunity to really step back and look in the mirror and look at my reflection and become happier with the person that I am, and the person that I know I can become."
A reporter asked if Henderson was unhappy with his life, but Henderson was quick to dismiss that idea.
"No, no, no, that's not the case at all. I love my life. I live a great life. I've been very blessed to be at this point, to be at this opportunity where I'm at right now... We [all] need to change things. But now I've been put in a situation where I've had to do that. I like what I see now. I like what I'm looking at and the direction I'm headed in."
He said the Vikings have provided him with the resources he needs to cope with life and the "stress and pressures of playing in the NFL."
Henderson's arrest happened more than a week ago, and was one of three arrests in less than three weeks for Vikings players.