GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Minnesota linebacker E.J. Henderson broke his leg against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in a brutal injury that will apparently sideline him for the season while dealing a serious blow to the Vikings' defensive unit.
Henderson fractured his femur while trying to tackle Tim Hightower late in the fourth quarter -- his leg twisting violently as he went down. He was taken off the field on a motorized cart after doctors spent several minutes attending to the star linebacker. His brother and teammate, Erin, held Henderson's hand as they were driven to the locker room.
Coach Brad Childress said Henderson will spend the night in Phoenix and undergo surgery.
Henderson has been a key part of Minnesota's defensive success this season, and it was the second straight year that his season was cut short with injury.
The mood in the locker room around the Henderson injury was somber as many players just shook their heads in disgust at the horrific injury.
"I feel bad for E.J.," Vikings quarterback Brett Favre said. "That's awful for him and for our team."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press