Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks didn't think the right shin injury he suffered on the fifth play of the Nov. 12 win against the Saints was anything other than a very painful bruise until he woke up at the hospital after emergency surgery.
In his first comments to local reporters on Thursday, Hicks said he was thankful for the team's training staff that had him in an ambulance quickly after the win. He underwent an operation to address dangerous swelling called compartment syndrome.
"Heard the doctor say, 'It's a good thing you got in because you could have lost your leg,'" Hicks said. "Ever since I've heard countless stories about people having to get stuff amputated, get a muscle taken out, have rot foot, permanent damage. So, wild, crazy, thankful, and blessed to be where I'm at."
Hicks, the Vikings' leading tackler when he was injured, has a roughly foot-long vertical scar along his right shin, a wound which only closed within the last month. The quick medical response spared Hicks from any permanent damage to his leg, but he was still relatively motionless for 2½ weeks after surgery. The wound was open for four days, Hicks said.
"The procedure was to cut it fully open and let the blood leak," he said. "Get out of there as quickly as possible. Don't go on the internet and search what that looks like. It was extremely graphic. … Four days later, they sewed it up and it's been three weeks and it's already scaring over. Walking good and feeling good."
Hicks, the 31-year-old team captain, said he has a chance to play again this year,
Defensive coordinator Brian Flores didn't count him out.
"I certainly have optimism about that," Flores said. "If you know Jordan Hicks, he's a guy that's going to do everything possible to get back as soon as he can."
The Vikings play five more games in the regular season. They're contending for more via the playoffs, where Hicks hopes to be available after a gruesome injury.
He's not yet practicing, but he's hopeful.
"We're pushing it right now, seeing how much it can handle," Hicks said. "You don't want to push it too far and have it swell up. There's a process: conditioning, strength. ... Make strides toward those checkpoints. We have them laid out. Trying to make strides towards those and once we're all comfortable with where I'm at, it's go time."
Ingram added to injury report
Right guard Ed Ingram was limited in Thursday's practice by a recent hip injury. He was the only player on the active roster limited by injury. Ingram appeared to suffer the injury on Thursday, as he was not on Wednesday's injury report.
Receiver Justin Jefferson (hamstring), cornerback Akayleb Evans (calf), safety Theo Jackson (illness), running back Kene Nwangwu (concussion), cornerback NaJee Thompson (knee) and nose tackle Khyiris Tonga (knee) were full participants. T ight end T.J. Hockenson (ribs) is no longer on the injury report.
The Raiders' top pass rusher, Maxx Crosby, has played through a knee injury but remained sidelined at Thursday's practice. Raiders left tackle Kolton Miller (shoulder) and kicker Daniel Carlson (illness) also did not practice.
Center of attention
Long snapper Andrew DePaola, the first-time All-Pro selection last year at 36 years old, is the Vikings' lone top vote getter at his position for fan Pro Bowl voting. The NFL released the top NFC and AFC vote getters this week for every position, and DePaola led all NFC long snappers. He was voted a Pro Bowler last season.
Fan voting for the Pro Bowl is open until Dec. 25 and counts for one-third of the voting toward the all-star events. Players and coaches are scheduled to vote Dec. 29.