New for 2019 Verizon Vikings Training Camp, Vikings Daily Digest will deliver content directly from Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center with news of the day and a few recurring elements.
EAGAN, Minn. — De'Angelo Henderson dived into job hunting.
The running back had just been waived by the Jets, his second team since entering the NFL as a sixth-round pick by the Broncos in 2017.
A stat machine in college at Coastal Carolina who set a national record for consecutive games with a rushing touchdown hadn't been able to churn out numbers at the next level and didn't know if his dream of playing in the NFL would continue.
"After I got released from the Jets, personally, my body of work that I've been able to do in the NFL hasn't been a lot, so I honestly didn't think I was going to get another chance," Henderson said Friday after his first walk-through with the Vikings. "I started applying for jobs. I was on Indeed, just applying for jobs, built my resume, called some guys, got in touch with some good people. I had an interview for a job this weekend that I had to turn down because I got signed by the Minnesota Vikings."
Instead of interviewing this weekend in Atlanta, Georgia, for a sales representative position to utilize his sport management degree, Henderson began a prolonged job interview as one of 90 Vikings players hoping to make the 53-man roster for the season.
Henderson exited one locker room and was invited into another in less than 24 hours.
"With this league, you never know what's going to happen," Henderson said. "You've just got to be on your toes at all points in time and pray to the 'Big Man Upstairs' for an opportunity. If it comes, it comes; if it doesn't, you've got to move forward."
The transition to Minnesota will be helped by his familiarity with Gary and Klint Kubiak, who were both with Denver when Henderson was drafted, and Vikings Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator Rick Dennison, who had the same role with the Jets in 2018.
"I have some people here who know what I'm capable of," Henderson said. "I have some people who know me and believe in my abilities. Hopefully I can impress others and go from there."
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said Friday that Minnesota believes Henderson will "be a good fit for some of the things we're looking to do."
"He's a guy that catches the ball well out of the backfield, has good acceleration, quick feet," Zimmer said. "He's short, but he's got a stocky body."
Listed at 5-foot-8 and 208 pounds, Henderson said he can be an "all-around back" and added that he's ready and willing to do whatever he's asked.
"A lot of people are scared about my height, but they don't make holes that way (points up), they make them this way (points to his sides)," Henderson said. "I'm explosive. I'm a guy that can come in and make plays.
"Whatever role they need me to play, I'll play. If I need to give a guy a break for a play or two, that's what I'll do," Henderson added. "If I need to hold the ball for the kicker to kick, that's what I'll do. I'm just excited to be here. It's a blessing to be here. Honestly, I didn't know if this opportunity would come back around for me, and it did. I'm very thankful and going to take advantage of my opportunities."
Quote of the Day
"We're hitting the ground running. There's really no time for acclimation or anything like that. We're all professionals, and we understand what this time of the year means. Sure, maybe you're a little sloppy the first day or two, but we don't really have a lot of time for that. You have to get to it and be great from the go."
— Linebacker Anthony Barr
There are plenty of activities to participate in at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.
FOX9's Rob Olson joined a young Vikings fan in running a 40-yard dash on the field at TCO Stadium.
KFAN's 9 to Noon and Bumper to Bumper with Dan Barreiro are broadcasting live, and the Vikings Radio Network flagship station is doling out prizes.
As part of the Vikings commitment to the Inspire Change social justice initiative, the Vikings partnered with Project Success to send 50 Minneapolis Public School high school students to Washington, D.C. this spring. The trip was highlighted by an emotional visit to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC).