EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings on Wednesday claimed running back De’Angelo Henderson off waivers and waived undrafted rookie safety Micah Abernathy.
Henderson was released by the Jets on Tuesday.
Henderson rushed seven times for 13 yards and caught two passes for 36 yards as a rookie with the Broncos, highlighted by a 29-yard touchdown catch from Paxton Lynch. He also returned two kickoffs a total of 59 yards with Denver.
The 26-year-old rushed two times for 19 yards with the Jets.
Here are five things to know about the newest Viking:
1. Member of “Team That Wouldn’t Be Here”
Henderson is grateful to be alive after surviving a horrendous car accident in Colorado in May 2018.
Henderson was in an SUV that was T-boned and overturned by a vehicle involved in a police chase. The driver of the stolen vehicle crashed into multiple cars, causing injuries to four people who were hospitalized briefly.
He participated in a “Team That Wouldn’t Be Here” video series that was produced by Verizon to raise money for first responders:
2. Connections with current Vikings
Henderson joined the NFL as a sixth-round selection of the Denver Broncos in 2017.
Vikings Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Advisor Gary Kubiak was working in Denver’s personnel department, and quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak held the same role in the Rockies for Henderson’s first season.
Henderson was waived in September 2018 during roster reductions and signed to the New York Jets practice squad. He spent time on the practice squad and active roster last season when Vikings Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator Rick Dennison worked in the same role with the Jets.
Vikings QB Kyle Sloter began his NFL career in Denver at the same time as Henderson.
3. Combine time
Henderson was invited to participate in the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine.
He tied with Christian McCaffrey and Donnel Pumphrey with a time of 4.48 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
Henderson had a vertical jump of 34 inches, a broad jump of 10 feet and repped 225 pounds 20 times in the bench press, placing him among the top-performing running backs in his draft class.
NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein described the 5-foot-7, 208-pounder as “built low to the ground with the balance and power in his lower half to fight forward for additional yardage after contact. His courage, burst and one-cut ability should appeal to zone-scheme teams while his pass catching and willingness to block gives him a chance to compete for a role on third downs.”
Click here to see Zierlein’s full pre-draft bio.
View photos of the Vikings during their first walk through and training camp practice of 2019 at TCO Performance Center.
4. Carolina scores
Henderson played college football at Coastal Carolina and set an NCAA Division I record by scoring at least one touchdown in 35 games (all 14 in 2014, all 12 in 2015, all nine of his games in 2016).
He was a finalist for the 2016 Walter Payton Award National Offensive Player of the Year after totaling 1,156 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns on 183 attempts for the Chanticleers.
In 50 career games, Henderson rushed for a school-record 4,635 yards and 58 touchdowns. He averaged 6.4 yards per attempt and 92.7 yards per game at Coastal Carolina. Henderson added 97 receptions for 921 yards and six scores.
5. High school highs
Henderson was a finalist for South Carolina Mr. Football in 2010 after leading the state with with 2,345 yards on 251 carries and scored 27 touchdowns as a senior at Summerville High School.
He finished his prep career as the Green Wave’s all-time leading rusher with 4,661 yards with 53 career touchdowns.