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Vikings’ Mike Zimmer will miss Thursday’s game after emergency eye surgery

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer had emergency eye surgery on Wednesday night and will not coach Thursday’s game against the Cowboys.
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Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer will not coach the team in Thursday night’s game against the Cowboys, general manager Rick Spielman announced Thursday morning.

Zimmer had emergency eye surgery on Wednesday night, placing his availability for Thursday’s game in doubt.

Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, who has been with the team since 2011, will be the interim head coach. Minnesota also has two former NFL head coaches on its staff, Pat Shurmur and Tony Sparano. 

“Mike Zimmer is having emergency eye surgery tonight. His status for coaching tomorrow’s game is uncertain. I have met with the coaches and players and we have a contingency plan in place if Mike is unable to coach against Dallas,” Spelman said in a statement Wednesday night.

The surgery was for a detached retina. Zimmer had two surgeries on the same eye earlier this month. 

The Vikings are 6–5 and play host to the NFC leading Cowboys, who are 10–1.