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Erin Henderson might fill Minnesota Vikings' MLB void

With no clear roster replacement for the departed Jasper Brinkley, the Minnesota Vikings are leaning on a familiar face to fill a void at middle linebacker.

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Tom Pelissero of ESPN Twin Cities spoke to a bulked-up, 248-pound Erin Henderson, who revealed Wednesday that coaches expect the longtime outside linebacker to open offseason team activities at the Mike position.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman still hasn't dismissed the idea of adding veteran Brian Urlacher or another free agent to the mix, saying after the draft the team would "sit and assess what we have." Spielman reportedly "chuckled" when asked about Urlacher, but the Vikings aren't laughing at the former Chicago Bears star's asking price.

Migrating Henderson to the middle would allow fourth-round pick Gerald Hodges to compete with Larry Dean for snaps at the Will spot. Henderson was a capable run-stopper last season, but moving inside will test his spotty coverage skills. ProFootballFocus ranked Henderson 41st out of 43 players at his position against the pass.

The Vikings might not be done adding linebackers, especially if Urlacher's price tag sinks. But until then, Henderson is your man in the middle.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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