EAGAN, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks underwent a procedure Sunday night and remained hospitalized Monday after developing compartment syndrome in his right leg following the team’s 27-19 victory over the New Orleans Saints, coach Kevin O’Connell said.
Hicks initially left the game during the first quarter after he collided with teammate Cam Bynum while making a tackle. He returned to play another 23 defensive and special teams snaps, according to ESPN Stats & Information data, before leaving for good in the third quarter with what the team termed a shin contusion.
O’Connell said that Hicks experienced significant swelling in the postgame locker room, raising concern from the team’s medical staff. He was transported directly to a local hospital, where doctors recommended an immediate procedure. Compartment syndrome is a diagnosed when swelling and pressure in the bruised area reach dangerous levels. It can lead to permanent muscle damage or worse if treatment is delayed.
“I give our medical staff [credit] for getting him quickly to the hospital,” O’Connell said. “He’s doing well and on the road to being fully back in our facility.”
There was no immediate timetable for Hicks’ release from the hospital, but he has been ruled out of the Vikings’ game Sunday night at the Denver Broncos. Hicks is a team captain, has started every game this season and had played 98% of the defensive snaps entering Week 10. Rookie Ivan Pace Jr. is expected to assume his role against the Broncos, including being the primary defensive signal-caller.
Meanwhile, O’Connell said the Vikings would “ramp up” receiver Justin Jefferson’s work in practice this week as he continues to recover from a right hamstring injury that has sidelined him since Week 5. The Vikings opened his 21-day practice window last week, meaning he could be activated to their 53-man roster at any time, but O’Connell again stressed that they will not rush him back.
“I know nobody wants to be out there more than Justin, maybe with the exception of me wanting him out there,” O’Connell said. “But we’re going to continue to be smart and know that when we do get him back it’s going to be a major, major boost for us.”