From the reports that are circulating around social media, the Minnesota Vikings are going to be without their head coach when they face the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday evening.
Numerous sources on Twitter and other places are reporting that Mike Zimmer is going to be out tonight following his emergency eye surgery on Wednesday evening. In his place, the head coaching duties will, reportedly, fall to special teams coach Mike Priefer.
While I speculated in the article earlier this morning that the Vikings would go with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur as the temporary head coach in this situation, given his previous head coaching experience, the selection of Priefer makes sense as well. Putting Priefer in that spot would allow Shurmur to maintain his focus on the offense and George Edwards to continue leading up the defense in Zimmer’s absence.
This is similar to what the Denver Broncos wound up doing earlier this season. On 10 October, Gary Kubiak was forced to miss the Broncos’ Thursday Night Football contest against the San Diego Chargers after dealing with what the Broncos called a “migraine condition” that left him extremely weak. The Broncos named their special teams coach, Joe DeCamillis, as their head coach for that week.
The Vikings will be holding a press conference at 10:00 AM Central time, a little more than half an hour from now, to address the situation with Coach Zimmer and this evening’s game. There hasn’t been any further word on Zimmer to this point, so hopefully everything from last night has worked out okay for him.