BUFFALO — Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes suffered a right shoulder injury Thursday night and did not return during the Vikings’ 17-10 preseason win against the Bills.
Head coach Mike Zimmer said minutes after the game that he was not concerned about Waynes’ health moving forward after the young cornerback was injured on the first snap and ruled out by the team’s medical staff before the end of the first quarter.
“Just a sore shoulder, I guess,” Zimmer said.
Zimmer’s reaction may be a good sign for Waynes, who underwent X-rays and did not need a shoulder sling in the locker room afterward. The Vikings pulled the rest of the starting defense after two series.
Waynes grabbed at his shoulder after tackling Bills receiver Sammy Watkins on a 5-yard pass from quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Waynes tackled Watkins again on the next play before calling to the sideline for a sub. Terence Newman replaced him on the left side of the defense and would be next in line to spell Waynes should he miss time.
Any long-term injury could undercut high expectations for Waynes, who is entering his third NFL season and first as a full-time starter. He had three interceptions in eight starts last season, setting the stage for what the Vikings expect to be a breakout campaign for the young cornerback.
Waynes, the 11th overall pick in 2015, is the highest-drafted defensive back in Vikings franchise history.