Earlier this preseason Bill Musgrave praised Vikings offensive lineman Scott Kooistra for bringing “an element of toughness to our team that we very much desire.” Now we’ve learned, calling Kooistra “tough” may be an understatement. Kooistra reportedly played several downs Saturday night after injuring the C-2 vertebrae in his neck while blocking the Seahawks‘ Aaron Curry. The injury did ultimately force Kooistra from the game, and afterward doctors discovered a significant enough problem that he was ordered to stay in the hospital in Seattle.
As of Monday, Kooistra was reported to have full movement in all his extremities. An MRI was performed on Tuesday and doctors decided that surgery was necessary. I’m happy to report that Kooistra underwent successful neck surgery later on Tuesday and is currently recovering.
Obviously Kooistra will not be returning to the football field in the foreseeable future, and may in fact have played his last game. Sadly the injury came just as the journeyman lineman was beginning to receive serious consideration for a starting job at right guard. As a result of the injury, the Vikings have placed Kooistra on IR – but that’s just the insignificant business-of-football side of the story; what matters is that Kooistra appears on his way to recovery after what could’ve been a life-threatening situation.