MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson has been arrested again for drunken driving, putting his status with the team in question after a perilous one-car crash that heavily damaged the sports utility vehicle he was driving.
Henderson was booked into jail Wednesday and released Thursday on $12,000 bail. He has a court appearance scheduled March 3 on these charges: second and third degree driving while intoxicated and test refusal; possession of a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and violation of a limited driver license.
Henderson was arrested in Chanhassen, a suburb near team headquarters in Eden Prairie.
The Vikings issued a statement Thursday morning: “We are aware of the matter involving Erin Henderson. We are continuing to gather information and will have further comment at the appropriate time.”
According to the Carver County Sheriff’s office, Henderson was traveling on a county road when he lost control of the car, skidded over the centerline and went through a grassy area and a park-and-ride lot before colliding with some trees.
The 27-year-old Henderson, who finished second on the team in tackles this season, was not injured. Officers observed a strong odor of alcohol on Henderson’s breath as well as bloodshot and glassy eyes. He was arrested after “performing poorly during standardized field sobriety testing,” according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.
Henderson was moved to middle linebacker this year and the starter there until he was arrested Nov. 19 in Eden Prairie on suspicion of DWI and drug possession, one of three arrests involving Vikings players that month. Audie Cole took his spot, and Henderson returned to his previous position on the weak side.
Henderson has one season left on his contract with a $1.95 million salary, but if the Vikings cut him before the new league year begins they’d only take a $250,000 hit against their salary cap for the remaining prorated portion of his signing bonus.
Henderson spoke to reporters after the first arrest about “a wake-up call” that he said he thought would help him mature. Again this week as players cleaned out their cubicles following the end of the season, Henderson said he was in a better place.
“I think I grew leaps and bounds as a player and as a person as well,” he said Monday.
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