JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Vikings lost another offensive lineman to a concussion Sunday.
Right guard Brandon Fusco suffered his second concussion of the season in the fourth quarter of their 25-16 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Zac Kerin replaced him and finished the game.
“We’re kind of used to it now,” coach Mike Zimmer said, referring to all the injuries the Vikings have suffered on the offensive line. “Like [offensive coordinator] Pat [Shurmur] said on the sideline, we’re not going to worry about it. We’re just going to go about our business and go.”
Fusco also suffered a concussion in Week 5 but did not miss a game because the Vikings’ bye week followed.
Center Joe Berger on Sunday missed his second consecutive game because of the concussion he suffered on Thanksgiving. Nick Easton started in his place.
Left guard Alex Boone was also knocked out Oct. 31 at Chicago because of a concussion, sitting out one game.
Fusco was not the only player to suffer an injury Sunday. Right tackle Jeremiah Sirles limped off the field in the third quarter but returned to finish the game at less than full strength.
Cornerback Trae Waynes also suffered a second-quarter concussion and didn’t return to the game. And rookie receiver Laquan Treadwell exited early in the first quarter because of an ankle injury.
Zimmer faces another procedure
Zimmer coached the team from the sideline Sunday after missing the Dec. 1 loss to the Dallas Cowboys because of surgery to repair a detached retina in his right eye.
He said he had trouble both looking to his right and reading with only one eye, which meant he had to keep taking his reading glasses on and off.
At the end of the game, after taking his eye patch off, Zimmer needed a team official to escort him to midfield to talk to Jaguars coach Gus Bradley. “I couldn’t see where he was at to shake his hand,” Zimmer said.
Zimmer said he will need to have another procedure on the eye in three or four months. But he is trying to maintain a sense of humor about his vision issues.
“The vision is not real good, but we’re not going to talk about injuries,” he said playfully, getting laughs from reporters.
Rhodes gets coached up
Zimmer briefly benched Xavier Rhodes in the third quarter after the cornerback was flagged twice on the same play, for holding and then again for yelling at an official.
“He just told me that I need to calm down, I need to relax,” Rhodes said. “He needed me out there and I just needed to relax, calm down.”
Rhodes was also called for a 31-yard pass interference penalty in the second quarter and had another penalty for illegal use of hands declined.
“Xavier is a good football player,” Zimmer said. “He’s powerful. … So there’s going to be some of that pushing and shoving going on, and he just needs to learn the things that he can do and the things he can’t do.”
Forbath keeps perspective
Through four games, Kai Forbath has yet to miss a field goal. He hit all four Sunday, making him 10-for-10 with the Vikings.
However, he missed an extra point early in the fourth quarter, after a false-start penalty on tight end Rhett Ellison made it a 38-yard attempt. The miss kept the Vikings’ lead at only 18-16.
Later in the quarter, he made his next PAT to make it a two-score game.
“Those little mistakes happen. I just knew that it wasn’t an actual problem going through. I just knew that I needed to go back to what I’ve been doing and made the next one,” Forbath said. “I’m never happy with missing, but I’m happy with the end result of what happened today.”
Harris fills in nicely
With Harrison Smith sidelined by a sprained ankle, second-year safety Anthony Harris made the third start of his career.
“I did pretty good,” Harris said. “I felt like that for the most part I went out there and did my job. I tried to make the plays when they came to me.”
Zimmer said Harris was to blame for the third-quarter touchdown pass Blake Bortles threw to Bryan Walters, but otherwise the coach believed Harris did a solid job.
Cornerback Marcus Sherels, defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, linebacker Edmond Robinson, quarterback Taylor Heinicke and tackle Rashod Hill were also inactive.