Hosting a charity football camp for the Mike Zimmer Foundation this weekend, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer appeared well-rested and excited to give back to the local community. His right eye, however, looked to be in bad shape.
Zimmer recently underwent an eighth eye surgery, all spawning from a detached retina suffered last October. Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune reports the same injury could crop up in Zimmer’s left eye at some point, but for now, the focus is preventing any further damage.
The team announced on Monday—likely as a precaution—that Zimmer would miss a portion of OTAs, which begin tomorrow. General manager Rick Spielman released the following statement:
“As the Vikings begin OTA practices, Coach Zimmer will be taking time away from the team to dedicate to recovering from eye surgery and restoring his health. We all agree Mike’s health is the priority and we believe rest and recovery are in his best interest for the long term. We anticipate Mike back on the field in a few weeks.”
Zimmer appeared on KFAN with Paul Allen today, where he revealed more info on his absence, the status of his eye, and his future outlook. When asked about his eye, Zimmer told Allen it’s “the very best it has looked.” Driving—or, hopefully riding shotgun—to Kentucky from a check-up appointment, he also shared that his retina “looked perfect” and the “pressure has come down tremendously.”
While he’s resting at home, Zimmer noted he’s “delegated a bit to everybody” to run OTAs and manage the team this offseason. “Coordinators have their side of the ball,” he said, and Vensel reported shortly after the interview that defensive line coach Andre Patterson would take on a larger leadership role.
The Vikings dealt with Zimmer’s absence last season, making this slightly unexpected announcement more of the same for the snakebitten franchise. It’s for the best Zimmer rests at home and ensures he’s not only fit to coach but healthy enough to enjoy life to its fullest after football.
“As long as I don’t do anything I’m not supposed to, this will be the best result we’ve had.”