Earlier this week when the Minnesota Vikings placed offensive tackle Brian O’Neill on injured reserve, we speculated that he might be able to make it back if the Vikings were to advance to the Super Bowl.
In the unlikely event that happens, O’Neill won’t be back then, either.
The injury that O’Neill suffered on Sunday afternoon turned out to be a partially torn Achilles tendon, according to Vikings’ head coach Kevin O’Connell.
“It was not a full Achilles injury, but it was an injury that did require it being repaired,’’ O’Connell said. “My understanding is he should be able to make a full recovery and be ready and hopefully available to start next season.”
Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery for one of the NFL’s best right tackles. He’s been a significant part of the Vikings’ offensive line for the past couple of years and a bright spot when the rest of the line was not very good.
On a more positive note, it sounds like O’Connell expects Blake Brandel to be ready to return from injured reserve in time for the playoffs. Brandel was placed on IR a few weeks ago and will have to miss this week’s game in Chicago, but will be eligible to come off of the injured list before the game on Wild Card Weekend.
“There is a very good chance we’ll get Blake back,” O’Connell said. “He’s done an excellent job in his recovery, and we thought when he got that injury he’d be right around that four-week mark, which allowed us to use that temporary IR tag. So I know Blake is doing everything he can to get back with his guys up front there as soon as possible.”
Brandel acquitted himself pretty well while he was filling in for Christian Darrisaw earlier this season, and now it sounds like he’ll get an opportunity to step in on the other side of the line as well.