At this time last year, Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman was on a conference call with the Twin Cities media announcing that head coach Mike Zimmer would not be on the sidelines for the Vikings’ Thursday night matchup against the Dallas Cowboys because of an emergency eye surgery for a detached retina. One year later, Zimmer’s eye is stable – though it’s still affecting his accuracy while hunting.
“I have to hunt left-handed because I can’t see the peephole in my bow,” Zimmer said. “I can’t see distance… I use a scope and I shoot lefty now.
The Vikings’ head coach wore had eight surgeries in total. This offseason the team required him to take some time off during OTAs, where he still watching practice and communicated with players.
“I don’t think it will get any better, but I don’t think it will get any worse,” Zimmer said Thursday.
As for the exact amount of vision remaining, Zimmer said:
“I have some blind spots in my eye, so when I look and I’m reading the chart, I have to [move around]…Some days I get it 60/80, some days it’s 20/5. They count it if you get a couple of letters on that line, but I kind of have to peek. I have to have a contact in, too.”
Zimmer insisted that he wouldn’t let eye issues get in the way of coaching the Vikings, saying on a conference call, “I don’t want to go blind in this eye. If that’s what it is, that’s what it is. This will not keep me from coaching.”
The Vikings have to be thrilled that it has only diminished his hunting skill this year.