Erin Henderson faces five charges

MINNEAPOLIS -- Former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson, who was released by the team on Feb. 7, will make his first court appearance Monday to face five charges stemming from his Jan. 1 arrest for drunken driving and drug possession.

Henderson, who was arrested in Chanhassen, Minn., after a single-car accident on New Year's Day, was charged with second- and third-degree DWI, as well as one count of marijuana possession over 1.4 grams and one count of drug paraphernalia possession, according to Carver County court records. He was also charged with driving under a limited driver's license condition, which occurred as a result of his initial DWI arrest on Nov. 19 in Eden Prairie, Minn.

He is facing two fourth-degree DWI charges, a drug possession charge and a careless driving charge from the first arrest, and will appear in Hennepin County court for that case in April.

The Vikings moved Henderson from weak-side linebacker to the middle of their defense before last season, but the 27-year-old lost his job to Audie Cole after the Nov. 19 arrest, and a subsequent personal matter that kept Henderson out of the Vikings next game. After the first arrest, Henderson said he had been struggling with the pressure of trying to keep his starting job in the NFL, but said two days before the second arrest that he believed he'd made significant personal strides.

Henderson could face additional NFL discipline following the two arrests. He has not signed with a team for the 2014 season.

"We're always going to be there for Erin in any type of capacity if he needs support in any way, shape or form," general manager Chris Spielman told reporters at the team's Arctic Blast charity event the day after the Vikings released Henderson. "He's done a lot of great things for our organization. I know he's had a rough stretch down here, and those are tough decisions to make, but that doesn't mean we don't care about Erin Henderson the person."