Mike Zimmer returns to Vikings' coaching duties


Mike Zimmer is back.

The Minnesota Vikings' coach has returned to his coaching duties on Monday. Zimmer missed last week's game against the Dallas Cowboys after undergoing surgery to repair a detached retina.

The Vikings announced Zimmer is expected to fly with the team to face Jacksonville on Sunday. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted on Sunday that Zimmer needed to be cleared to fly since air pressures associated with high-altitude flights could hamper his recovery.

Zimmer had surgery Wednesday and listened to the Cowboys-Vikings game on the radio to rest his eyes. Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer assumed head coaching duties in the 17-15 loss.

The coach has to feel good about the way his team performed, especially his defense. Coordinator George Edwards called a masterful game, stymieing one of the most efficient offenses in the NFL.

The Vikings get their coach back needing to make a late-season run. At 6-6, the Vikings are two games behind the Detroit Lions (and lose the tiebreaker) in the division and sit a game back for a Wild Card spot.

Minnesota has winnable games versus the Jags, Colts and Bears and a pivotal Week 16 matchup versus the Packers left. With a defense capable of stealing any game, the Vikes aren't out of the playoff hunt yet.

Getting their leader back on the sideline could provide the spark needed to bookend the season with a winning streak.