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Nick Easton headed to injured reserve with neck injury

Before their first preseason game, the Minnesota Vikings are already down one starting offensive lineman.

Guard Nick Easton is having surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Thursday, per a source informed of the procedure. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer confirmed Thursday afternoon that Easton is headed to injured reserve.

ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the news and added the injury is not expected to be career-threatening.

Easton logged 12 games in 2017 before being shut down in late December due to an ankle injury.

The 26-year-old has missed recent training-camp practices while searching for a second opinion on his neck issue, which will now end with surgery. Tom Compton has been filling in at guard.

Easton's injury will prompt reshuffling along the Vikings offensive line, which has already been dealing with issues. Minnesota lost guard Joe Berger to retirement earlier this offseason. Center Pat Elflein is on the PUP list and Mike Remmers is dealing with an ankle injury.

Much optimism abounds about the Vikings' offensive potential with the acquisition of Kirk Cousins and return of Dalvin Cook. All the positivity could go for naught if the offensive line isn't sorted out in short order.

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