After an intense and thorough competition throughout the offseason, training camp and the preseason, the Vikings chose Mistral Raymond as one of their two starting safeties to begin the season. Early in Week 3, though, the Vikings had to find a replacement for their choice. Raymond suffered what appeared to be a very serious ankle injury early in the Vikings home game against the San Francisco 49ers.
The injury was severe enough to keep Raymond away from the football field for several weeks, but now it appears Raymond is inching closer to a return and could be on the field for this Sunday’s game in Seattle.
“It looks that way,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday. “We need to get him through an entire week of practice, we’re going to give him a little bit more this week and then we’ll make a decision later in the week. All indications are he’s improved enough where he can go through everything in practice. But he still hasn’t done that.”
Just as important as participating in practice, the Vikings will closely monitor how Raymond’s body responds after a practice.
“When we put him through the paces and what we’re doing with seven-on-seven, team, individual work, group, whatever we’re doing, just to see how he responds on Thursday after a Wednesday practice and then Friday after a Thursday practice,” Frazier explained. “Because it will be much more intense for him than it has been as we integrate him into everything that we’re doing.”
Speaking of what the Vikings are doing, the defense has made subtle changes since Raymond left the lineup in Week 3. The 2nd-year safety will have to make adjustments on that end, too.
“We’ve got a few changes in what we’re doing from earlier in the season when he was starting, but he shouldn’t have a problem picking up some of those little nuances,” Frazier said. “But we also have to see how he’s doing physically, as well. How he plants, how he cuts and how he responds the day after one of those practices.”
The news on Monday was good because it’s clear Raymond is progressing and it’s clear he will be back soon, something that seemed unlikely at the moment he injured the ankle. But it’s also clear the Vikings will be careful in how they work Raymond back into the mix.
Tags: Leslie Frazier, Mistral Raymond
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