The Vikings got contributions from several rookies in their season-opening victory over the Packers. Ed Ingram played every snap at right guard, Akayleb Evans filled in at cornerback for a few snaps, and four others made their NFL debuts on special teams, including punter Ryan Wright.
The shortest of those debuts belonged to second-round pick Andrew Booth Jr., who played two snaps on special teams before leaving with a quad injury. For a player who was plagued by injuries during his college career, it’s concerning that he already missed some time during training camp and now has another ailment to recover from.
Head coach Kevin O’Connell doesn’t believe it’s a long-term issue, but it seems like there’s a chance Booth won’t be ready to play against the Eagles next Monday night.
“Andrew Booth did sustain a quad muscle injury, soft tissue type of deal,” O’Connell said. “It’s something we’re still evaluating, trying to see what his weekly schedule is going to be like to maybe see if we can give him a shot to be ready to go with the extra day this week. Definitely not a long-term thing that we’re looking at, but his availability for this week…I will update you guys on as the week goes on.”
Meanwhile, first-round pick Lewis Cine did not make his debut, as he was ruled out with a knee injury that he aggravated in practice during the week leading up to the game. O’Connell said he expects Cine to be ready to go against the Eagles.
“Lew Cine should be somebody we expect to get back this week,” he said. “Lew is kind of champing at the bit to get going. He’s done everything we’ve asked from a rehab standpoint. We’ll see what his practice schedule looks like, but we’re expecting to hopefully have Lew, and I’ll keep you guys posted if that were to change.”
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It’s unclear exactly what Cine’s role will look like once he’s able to play. Harrison Smith and Camryn Bynum are the Vikings’ starting safeties, and Bynum didn’t do anything against the Packers to suggest his spot is in jeopardy. He finished tied for second on the team with seven tackles and seemed to generally be in the right place in coverage.
“We want to get Lew involved,” O’Connell said last week. “Obviously a major role on special teams, but at the same time, we feel really good about Harry and Cam — and then finding ways by down-and-distance, by situation, to activate Lew and really show the versatility we feel like we have.”
The Vikings would love to have Cine available because he can add value on special teams and give them more versatility if they want to use him in specific situations on defense.
Minnesota emerged from Week 1 without any other injuries. Cam Dantzler briefly left the game with cramps but was able to return after missing six plays. Christian Darrisaw left the game for a single play and didn’t miss a beat afterwards.
We’ll learn more about the potential availability of Booth and Cine as the week progresses.
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