Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer had emergency eye surgery Wednesday night, said team officials and at this time, his status is unknown for Thursday’s game with the Dallas Cowboys.
Rick Spielman the general manager of the Vikings said through a prepared statement released to the media that Zimmer had emergency surgery on his eye Wednesday night.
The statement continued by saying Zimmer’s status for Thursday’s game at home was not known. Spielman said he had spoken to both the team’s coaches and players. The team put in place a contingency plan if Zimmer cannot coach Thursday’s game against the Cowboys.
Earlier in November, Zimmer had a minor medical procedure performed for a torn retina he suffered in his right eye. The injury took place after Zimmer scratched his eye during one of Minnesota’s games against the Chicago Bears.
Following that game, doctors checked Zimmer’s eye and set up an appointment for him. He was diagnosed at that time with a torn retina and fortunately, the team doctor, with two other doctors was able to perform a minor procedure on the eye, said Zimmer at the time.
At that time, doctors told Zimmer that if he did not take care of his eye that he risked going blind.
Zimmer added at that time that he was watching film of a game with one eye and at times was forced to wear a pair of reading glasses.
The first procedure was followed by a second just one week after on November 8, after which Zimmer told the media that he told his players that if he can have six needles inserted into his eye over the past two weeks, they could suck it up for him.
Wednesday’s surgery was Zimmer’s third during November.
If he cannot coach for Thursday’s game, which is an important must win situation for the Vikings, he will likely give the head coaching responsibilities to Pat Shurmur his offensive coordinator or Tony Sparano the coach of the offensive line.
Both of the coaches have experience as head coaches. Shurmur was a head coach with the Cleveland Browns, while Sparano was head coach with the Miami Dolphins.
Shurmur acted as well as the interim head coach for Philadelphia for one game during 2015 following the exit of Chip Kelly.
Sparano was the Oakland interim coach in 2014 after Dennis Allen was fired during midseason.