Lewis Cine Looks Fantastic at Vikings Workouts

Lewis Cine Expresses Confidence and Patience in His Injury Recovery
Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Cine. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

One of the worst fates an NFL rookie can suffer is having their season cut short due to injury. Not only did Vikings 2022 first-round pick Lewis Cine see that fate become his own, but he suffered one of the more gruesome injuries that an athlete can endure.

In Week 4 during a London game against the New Orleans Saints, Cine went to make a play on a ball-carrier, and his leg went through a compound fracture where the bone not only broke, but it punctured through the skin and was exposed to open air. These types of fractures are dangerous because they can heavily increase the risk of infection at the site of the injury as well as lengthen recovery time due to damage to blood vessels, muscles, and tendons around the bone.

Following the injury, Cine was carted off the field, transported to a local hospital, and underwent surgery in London, staying behind to recover as his teammates flew back to the U.S. Obviously, the following recovery was a long process (and likely still on-going to an extent); it ended his rookie season in the blink of an eye right as he was starting to see more playing time.

Jun 8, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Cine (6) catches a ball during mandatory mini camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

However, about seven months after the injury took place, you wouldn’t even be able to tell that this injury occurred. On Wednesday, Alec Ausmus of KSTP tweeted a video of Cine going through on-the-field drills, and the Vikings second-year safety looks like he is in great shape towards making a full recovery. Take a look at the clip posted below:

Everything seen in this video is a positive sign for Cine. He looks fluid in his movements, he seems confident in his leg’s ability to bear his full weight, and he initiates contact. It would be completely understandable that, after having his lower leg quite literally snap in half, it would take some time to regain that confidence.

Not for the former Georgia Bulldog, though. Everything said of him throughout the offseason has been praise for how he’s attacked his recovery, and just a few weeks ago, as Ausmus alludes to in this tweet, Harrison Smith said in a press conference that he had completely forgotten that he was hurt because of how good he looked on the field.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Cine (6) warms up before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

It takes a lot of hard work and mental fortitude to recover from an injury like this, especially in such a short timeframe that Cine has recovered during. Back in March, head coach Kevin O’Connell also praised the safety’s work ethic throughout this process saying,

“Lewis is in a great spot right now. He’s well ahead of his rehab process. It’s unique to see a player every single day, this time of year at the facility, but that’s been Lew. He’s been in my office a bunch asking, ‘When do we get started? Have you set the schedule for OTAs?’”

Jul 27, 2022; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Cine (6) performs a drill at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings head coach continued, “I’m really excited about Lewis and his mental growth through, you know, how he handled the adversity of that injury, how he connected with his teammates, and ultimately, hopefully this is just going to be a small bump in a great road to Lew becoming the player he’s going to become.”

As things stand right now, Cine seems like the early favorite to emerge as a starting safety alongside Harrison Smith if he can continue his progression throughout training camp. To this point in his NFL career, it has probably felt like a lot of ‘two steps forward, one step back’ as he’s worked his way back from injury, so hopefully this summer can be filled with leaps and bounds for the second-year safety.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.