Yeah. . .gonna run the whole "OMG AUDIE COLE" thing right into the ground here, I think.
According to 1500 ESPN, starting middle linebacker Erin Henderson has missed a couple of practices for an undisclosed "personal issue." The article states that the Vikings are "preparing for Henderson's absence" on Sunday as they get ready to take on the Green Bay Packers.
If Henderson is not available, the team has stated that second-year man Audie Cole would, in fact, get the start at middle linebacker. I would have expected Mike Mauti to get some serious consideration, but he has been limited in practice this week with a knee issue. (Great. . .just what we wanted to hear about Mauti, given all his past issues, huh?)
Cole would also stay in the game when the Vikings go to a nickel set, per head coach Leslie Frazier.
I don't know if this is a chance for Cole to potentially "Wally Pipp" Henderson out of his starting spot. . .knowing Frazier's loyalty to veterans, Henderson will be back in the lineup as soon as possible regardless of how Cole performs on Sunday. But, for a guy that's been a bit of a cult hero around here since his two "Pick-6" game in the pre-season as a rookie, it's an interesting opportunity should Henderson not be available on Sunday.