[UPDATE]: According Minnesota Vikings’ general manager Rick Spielman, head coach Mike Zimmer will not coach on Thursday against the Dallas Cowboys.
Vikings name special teams coach Mike Priefer as interim HC to replace Mike Zimmer for tonight's game vs Dallas.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 1, 2016
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is undergoing emergency eye surgery as of Wednesday night, which puts his status for Thursday night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys in question.
The Vikings enter the game 6-5, but have lost five of their last six games, including their last four on the road. The team has undergone widespread injury concerns all season long, losing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater prior to the start of the season to a knee injury that still may materialize to be career-threatening, as well as running back Adrian Peterson, who played in only two games prior to tearing his meniscus.
Minnesota opened the season 5-0 on the back of the team’s suffocating defense and the right arm of the new quarterback, Sam Bradford. Bradford has remained steady statistically, but the team has scored 16 points or less in four of their last six games.
In a crowded NFC playoff picture, the final five games will be crucial to Minnesota’s playoff efforts and taking on the NFL’s lone one-loss team in the Cowboys without their head coach would be a disadvantage.
Zimmer took over the head coaching position with the Vikings in 2014, where he has gone 24-19 in his first two and a half head coaching seasons. He has a history with the Dallas franchise that his Vikings will take on Thursday night, having first served as the team’s defensive backs coach from 1994-1999, before taking over defensive coordinator duties from 2000-2006. From there, he would serve as DC for both the Atlanta Falcons (2007) and Cincinnati Bengals (2008-2013) before joining Minnesota.