Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer will travel to Jacksonville with the team, as the organization expected on Monday, but he said on Friday he doesn’t know if he will coach from the booth or the field on Sunday.
Zimmer has had four surgeries since Nov. 1 to repair a torn retina in his right eye. The team said on Monday that he was expected to travel with the team on Saturday, and Zimmer said Friday he is cleared to travel.
But the question remains whether he will be on the field, per usual, or will be located in the coaching booth away from the action.
“I'm not going to worry about it,” he said. “The doctor just doesn't want me to get hit. That's all. So, we'll be OK.”
Zimmer missed the Dallas game on Dec. 1 because the third surgery, deemed an “emergency,” was on Nov. 30, the day before the game, and had a follow-up procedure on Dec. 2. He told KFAN-FM earlier this week that he had an oil-based fluid injected into his eye instead of an oxygen-based one, allowing him to fly and handle the changes in air pressure.
But he said his vision was supposed to remain focused on the horizon down, bringing into question if he would coach from the field, where he would likely want to look up at the scoreboard and game clock.
“There’s certain things that I’m not supposed to do right now. Looking up is one of them. I’m supposed to look at horizon down,” he told KFAN on Tuesday. “I’m not supposed to be lifting anything heavy, jumping up and down and jarring. You know, there’s several things I’m being told to do that I’m very, very careful with because I understand the importance of this and the importance of having my eyesight.”
He has had his eye covered with tape, patches or sunglasses this week during practice.