You Can Cross 1 Big Vikings Item off Your Offseason Checklist

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He’s back.

Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Cine has successfully healed from a broken leg suffered in London last October, a speedy recovery from a gruesome injury.

You Can Cross 1 Big Vikings Item off Your Offseason Checklist

If he were not ready or could not be fully considered back, the Vikings would not tweet items like this:

Had Cine’s recovery stalled or encountered a setback — which wouldn’t be weird at all — he’d be absent from Vikings organized team activities this week, but such is not the case. Cine now set sights on the summer, hoping to earn a starter’s job, unlike last year when Camryn Bynum seized the free safety gig next to Harrison Smith.

Cross 1 Big Vikings
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Minnesota’s defense will look markedly different while Cine vies for the job, chiefly because a new defensive coordinator is in charge, Brian Flores. And in theory, Cine should fit Flores’ modus operandi to a tee and vice versa. Flores is known for aggression and the embracement of speed, and well, that’s Cine’s biography — almost like a match made in Valhalla.

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell’Connell told reporters in March about Cine’s recovery process, “Lewis is in a great spot right now. He’s well ahead of his rehab process. I see him [every day]. It’s unique to see a player every single day this time of year at the facility, but that’s been Lew. Been in my office a bunch, asking, ‘Hey, when do we get started? Have you set the schedule for OTAs? What’s training camp going to be like?'”

And he wasn’t lying or embellishing because the man is back.

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Last year, Cine was supposed to win a summer camp battle against the aforementioned Bynum, but the theory was ill-fated. Cine then started to get intermixed in the Vikings special teams and defensive affairs about three games into the season, and by Week 4, he broke his leg against the New Orleans Saints. Naturally, that was the end of his NFL maiden voyage.

Minnesota drafted Cine after a controversial trade last year. The Vikings could’ve remained locked into their 12th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and selected Kyle Hamilton, who became the NFL’s best safety in his first year, according to Pro Football Focus. But general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah decided to trade the No. 12 pick for draft capital that would help land Cine, Andrew Booth, Ed Ingram, and Brian Asamoah.

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In April, Cine told reporters about his comeback, “It all started with mindset. What’s my mindset going into rehab? Am I looking in the mirror being pitiful about myself — like ‘why me?’ Or am I looking in the mirror in telling myself, ‘Let me go attack the day?’ Rehab is a grueling process; sometimes it sucks. Motivation is not enough. It’s about self-discipline.”

And now, just seven months after a compound leg fracture, the man has returned. The self-discipline worked.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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