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The Minnesota Vikings learned Sunday they have lost not one, but two, key reserves for the season because of torn anterior cruciate ligaments.
As feared, linebacker/special teams ace Heath Farwell is one of them, coach Brad Childress told reporters Sunday. But the other was a surprise: Defensive end Jayme Mitchell, who apparently suffered the injury on his first play from scrimmage Friday night in the Vikings' 34-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Mitchell was running with the second team behind left end Ray Edwards and was expected to be part of the Vikings' defensive line rotation this season. Farwell, meanwhile, is one of the NFL's top special teams cover men and probably would have been the first linebacker off the bench at all three positions during the regular season.
Farwell's injury could pave the way for rookie linebacker Erin Henderson to make the team. Henderson is the younger brother of Vikings middle linebacker E.J. Henderson.