Vikings’ Henderson to sue state over arrest

Updated: November 27, 2013, 12:50 PM ET

Ben Goessling |

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson, who missed Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers for what coach Leslie Frazier called a “personal matter,” is suing the state’s Department of Public Safety to prevent revocation of his driver’s license after he was arrested for failing a breath test on Nov. 19.

The arrest, which was first reported by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, came after Henderson was pulled over by Eden Prairie police just before 6 a.m. on Nov. 19. Henderson reportedly registered a blood-alcohol content level of 0.11 on a breath test — above the state’s legal limit of 0.08 — but claims police did not have grounds to pull him over.

He filed a petition in Hennepin County District Court on Tuesday, challenging the state’s implied consent statute and requesting to keep his license. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office shows no record of Henderson being booked into the Hennepin County Jail after the incident.

Frazier has so far declined to elaborate on Henderson’s absence from the team, but he did say Henderson was back with the team Monday. Audie Cole started in Henderson’s place Sunday in Green Bay, registering 13 tackles and a sack.

Henderson’s case comes after the Vikings released cornerback A.J. Jefferson following a domestic assault charge Monday. Vikings receiver Jerome Simpson was also charged with two counts of driving while intoxicated after a Nov. 9 arrest in Minneapolis, and he will make his first appearance in Hennepin County District Court next month.

“The fact that we have had three recent off-field situations is unacceptable and disappointing,” Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said in a statement. “Our organization looks at each situation and the circumstances involved to determine our actions with those players and how to best move forward.

“The Vikings have a comprehensive approach with our player development program and excellent resources that are a part of this organization, but certainly we will take a methodical look at how we can improve upon our current programs to prevent these situations in the future.”

  • Previously covered Vikings for St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • Also covered Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Wild and Washington Nationals
  • Twin Cities native and University of Minnesota graduate

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