The Minnesota Vikings have just begun training camp and already, their third string quarterback, Taylor Heinicke, is sporting a cast on his left foot and has what could be one of the craziest injury stories of a season that has not quite started yet.
South of the Twin Cities, the Vikings are having their annual training camp at Minnesota State University in Mankato. The expectations are high this year, as this team is expected to be a Super Bowl contender. So, now fans are a bit nervous to find that their third string QB is already on the DL. So what exactly happened?
About two-and-a-half weeks ago, the quarterback and a friend were going to the friend’s home, after seeing The Conjuring 2. They were locked out of the place and no one was inside. There was no explanation how they got locked out of the house or why they did not try calling a locksmith. Instead, Heinicke’s solution was to use his feet to get inside the apartment.
“I’m trying to nudge the door a little. It was one of those double doors. I thought it just needed a little nudge. Me and my buddy were getting it going a little, but when I put my foot to the door, my foot kind of slipped and it went through a window. It was just kind of a freak accident. I’m very embarrassed, but I’m just excited getting going with rehab and trying to get this going as soon as possible.”
Heinicke suffered a cut right above his left ankle, which severed the tendon. This serious and painful injury required the quarterback to have surgery. Now Heinicke will miss training camp and possibly the preseason and up to three months because of this “freak accident.” The player did not reveal when he is able to begin physical therapy, but he is optimistic that he will be available for play on the first regular-season game at Tennessee.
As the third-string quarterback behind Teddy Bridgewater and Shaun Hill, Heinicke didn’t get into any games as a rookie last season. Unfortunately, training camp and the pre-season games are Heinicke’s best opportunities to show the coaching staff what he’s got and to keep him in mind if number one or two should go down even with the smallest injury.
Head coach Mike Zimmer did not have a lot to add when he was asked about Heinicke. Zimmer confirmed that he is pleased with his first and second string quarterbacks, as well as undrafted rookie Joel Stave, who is now participating in training camp as a free agent.
It is doubtful that the Vikings will release Heinicke. The Vikings coaching staff are fans of Heinicke as the third string quarterback plays in a similar style to Vikings quarterback sensation Teddy Bridgewater. In 2015, Taylor Heinicke was signed to the Vikings as an undrafted free agent. He became the third string quarterback after impressing the coaches in the 2015 preseason and again this past spring.
ESPN reported that there was no signs of foul play or substance abuse. This was truly a freak accident.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press says that the team expects him back sometime during the regular season, but right now it is anyone’s guess as to how soon that will be. Heinicke is very optimistic and hopes his return will be sooner than later.
“We’re hoping for a speedy recovery, so we’ll see what happens.”
Do you think this is the craziest non-sports injury that an athlete has ever had? Do you think the Vikings will even need Heinicke this season?
[Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images]