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Updated: November 21st, 2013 4:05pm
Injury report: Erin Henderson may not play Sunday, Cole would start

Injury report: Erin Henderson may not play Sunday, Cole would start

by Andrew Krammer
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Minnesota Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson has missed practice this week from what coach Leslie Frazier called a personal matter. 

Henderson's absence has the Vikings preparing as if he won't be available on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

"[Henderson] has a personal matter he's dealing with," Frazier said. "I'm not sure he'll make it back, we'll see."

Linebacker Audie Cole, in his second year, would get his first career start at middle linebacker if Henderson doesn't play. Rookie linebacker Michael Mauti would've been considered, but he's currently dealing with knee soreness. Mauti has excelled on special teams so far this season. 

"[Mauti] had to come out of that game because of his knee," Frazier said. "He jarred his knee on the turf at Seattle and scared him a little bit, it was the knee that he had surgery on."

Mauti was a limited participant in Thursday's practice because of soreness in his knee, but continues to start on kickoff and kickoff return units at practice. Cole appeared to be removed from certain special teams groups in preparation for a larger role on defense on Sunday.

Like Henderson, Cole would remain as the middle linebacker in their often-used nickel formations, per Frazier.

"We have Marvin Mitchell that can do it as well, but we'd leave Audie [Cole] in there," Frazier said.

Injury report

Center John Sullivan (concussion) has not passed the NFL protocol as of Thursday morning. Sullivan suffered the head injury on a Seahawks' interception return in the fourth quarter on Sunday.

If Sullivan doesn't clear the NFL's concussion tests by Friday, reserve lineman Joe Berger will get the start against the Packers.

"If [Sullivan] doesn't get cleared tomorrow, we probably wouldn't be able to play him," Frazier said. "Because he has to go through something with our team coming off a concussion and he has to get cleared to get out there."

Receiver Greg Jennings will make his return to Lambeau Field on Sunday after crossing the border this offseason. Jennings definitively said he would play on Sunday after he was a late scratch last week with an Achilles injury.

Jennings missed Wednesday's practice and was limited Thursday, but wasn't cautious in predicting his availability.

"Oh, I'm going," Jennings said.

Defensive ends Jared Allen (back) and Brian Robison (neck) were new additions to the injury report on Thursday. Robison left practice early and Allen received treatment applied by head trainer Eric Sugarman during the Vikings' defensive linemen drills. Allen's on-field treatment prompted the rest of the position group to break out in song.

Defensive tackles Letroy Guion (chest) and Fred Evans (knee), along with tight end Rhett Ellison (ankle) were the only other limited participants in Thursday's practice.

Running back Adrian Peterson (groin) sat out, but is confident he will play on Sunday.

Receiver Greg Childs practiced for the first time in more than 15 months on Wednesday, but was held out on Thursday from soreness, Frazier said. 

Andrew Krammer covers the Minnesota Vikings for He previously covered the Gophers men's basketball team for the Minnesota Daily.
Email Andrew | @andrew_krammer