Although Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer underwent a fourth eye operation on Friday, he could still return to coach his club in Week 14, a source tells Ben Goessling of ESPN.com. Zimmer was forced to miss Minnesota’s Thursday night contest against the Cowboys after having emergency eye surgery on Wednesday night.
The Vikings are set to play the Jaguars on December 11, and while Zimmer’s most recent procedure could prevent him from flying to Jacksonville, he would likely be able to drive to Florida to attend the game. However, Goessling reports that Zimmer could return to the club before that contest. In fact, Zimmer is scheduled to speak to the media on Wednesday, so it would appear that Minnesota is aiming for business as usual.
If plans change, the Vikings would once again turn to special teams coach Mike Priefer to lead the team. Priefer did so against the Cowboys, presumably so coordinators Pat Shurmur and George Edwards could focus on their play-calling roles. According to Goessling, Priefer said he would be honored to step in for Zimmer once again, but said he hopes he’s “not needed in that capacity.”
The NFC North rival Lions and Packers both secured victories today, and now stand with records of 8-4 and 6-6, respectively. The Vikings are also 6-6 after Thursday’s loss to Dallas, and need to finish the season strong to have a chance at a postseason berth. After the Jaguars game, the Vikings will face the Colts, Packers, and Bears to close out the 2016 campaign.
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