One of the cult favorites on the Minnesota Vikings' roster has had his 2015 season come to an end because of an injury.
Middle linebacker Audie Cole, who was starting today for the Vikings because of an injury to starter Eric Kendricks, suffered a fractured ankle during Sunday's 21-18 overtime victory over the St. Louis Rams. He was pursuing a play and got rolled up on. He wound up getting carted off, and one of the media folks that was covering the game from TCF Bank Stadium said that Cole's foot was "pointing in a direction it wasn't supposed to."
Cole was a seventh-round pick of the Vikings in the 2012 NFL Draft out of North Carolina State. He burst onto the scene in a 2012 pre-season game against the Buffalo Bills when he returned interceptions for touchdowns on consecutive plays. (Well, as much as one can "burst" onto the scene in a pre-season game, anyway.) He has gotten a few starts over the years, but was serving as a backup this season.
In Cole's absence, Brandon Watts saw some time at linebacker late in the game, with veteran Chad Greenway moving into the middle linebacker spot.
Cole is in the final season of the rookie contract he signed back in 2012. With his season over, he may have played his last game as a Viking, although I'm sure that's going to be largely determined by how his rehab from this injury goes. He's been a good special teamer and has had some big moments when he's gotten the opportunity, and it couldn't hurt to have have a guy like him around.
Best of luck to Audie Cole in getting healthy again after a pretty nasty injury.