Vikings rookie safety Lewis Cine is scheduled to undergo surgery on a compound fracture in his lower left leg on Tuesday at a London hospital, the team said. The 22-year-old first-round pick will stay in London through his initial recovery with a member of the team's medical staff and will return "at the appropriate time," according to a Vikings statement.
Head coach Kevin O'Connell said he spoke with Cine for about 20 minutes on the phone after the team flight arrived in Minneapolis early Monday morning.
"He's in good spirits," O'Connell said Monday. "[We'll] get him back in our facility as soon as possible with the mind-set of doing whatever is in Lew's best interest. … I feel great knowing we have one of our medical staff there with him that will travel home with him as well."
Cine underwent a "successful preparatory procedure" prior to surgery to "mitigate any kind of issues that come about," O'Connell said. Just a day after Cine's injury, O'Connell was asked whether Cine can make a full recovery and play again.
"That's a tough question right now," O'Connell said. "We've been so short-term in making sure he's getting the care both medically and support-wise from us as an organization. Although we had to leave and come home, Lew, we're still right there with you."
Cook handles typical workload
Running back Dalvin Cook saw a slightly lower playing rate — 62% — just a week after a partial dislocation of his left shoulder, but he handled a typically heavy workload of 22 touches while wearing a brace that will be part of his Sunday routine.
"I give him a ton of credit," O'Connell said. "Although we had significant obstacles with the travel and everything, kind of throwing us out of our normal routine – I thought our team and really Dalvin did a great job handling that, and really being available and productive."
Safety Harrison Smith is fine after grimacing following a collision in the closing seconds of Sunday's game, according to O'Connell, who clarified that Smith just had to shake off a low blow.
"He had something that was very painful happen to him," O'Connell said. "Kind of in the midsection area, but he made a complete, full recovery. Just not as quickly as he possibly could to get off the ground and avoid kind of us being charged a timeout."
'Do not disturb'
The Vikings team flight arrived in Minneapolis early Monday morning following a nine-hour trek westward out of Stansted London Airport, and 22-year-old undrafted rookie punter Ryan Wright needed some peace and quiet. Wright's NFL passer rating is now 118.7 after completing his first and only attempt for 13 yards and a first down during a successful punt fake on Sunday.
"My phone's been blowing up a little bit," Wright said. "I've had to put it on 'do not disturb' just to kind of block out the noise. It's definitely cool to get a little bit of recognition."
- Outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith started against the Saints, but was limited to 24 snaps (40%) while playing through a knee injury suffered Sept. 25. Reserve D.J. Wonnum saw a season-high 42 snaps (70%) and had two run stops on five tackles.
- The Vikings opened as 7.5-point home favorites for Sunday's game against the Bears, according to Sportradar; Minnesota is 2-2 over the past two seasons when favored by at least a touchdown.