Mike Zimmer undergoes emergency eye procedure, might miss Vikings game vs. Cowboys

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer might not be available for his team's game against the Cowboys on Thursday night due to an emergency eye procedure. According to general manager Rick Spielman, they have a backup plan in case Zimmer cannot coach.

Here's his complete statement:

"Mike Zimmer is having emergency eye surgery tonight. His status for coaching tomorrow's game is uncertain. I have met with the coaches and players and we have a contingency plan in place if Mike is unable to coach against Dallas."

The team's website added that Spielman will answer questions Thursday morning.

According to the Associated Press, Zimmer initially scratched his eye during the Vikings' loss to the Bears on Halloween after experiencing issues with his vision a few days before the game. He had surgery to fix a torn retina in early November.

"It's probably a good thing that I scratched my eye during the game. Otherwise I may not have caught it in time," Zimmer said at the time. "But hopefully everything will be all right."

The Vikings will face their toughest test of the season Thursday when they play host to the 10-1 Cowboys, who have won 10 straight. At 6-5, the Vikings are a game back of the Lions in the NFC North and a half-game back of the Redskins for the final wild-card spot.

If Zimmer can't coach, the top candidate to fill in could be interim offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who coached the Browns in 2011 and 2012. And just last season, Shurmur replaced Chip Kelly as the Eagles' coach for the final game of the season.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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