Lewis Cine's teammates raving about injury recovery will excite Vikings fans

Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Cine (6) warms up before
Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Cine (6) warms up before / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings are hopeful 2022 draft picks Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth will bounce back from injury-plagued rookie seasons. The Vikings invested high draft picks in both players, and understandably so given the sheer hype they had coming out of Georgia and Clemson, respectively.

For the sake of time, let's focus our attention on Cine.

Most of Cine's playing time came on special teams as he worked to earn snaps on the Vikings' defense. Whatever hopes Vikings fans had for Cine in year one eroded when he suffered a compound fracture in London against the Saints.

The No. 32 overall pick last year, Cine underwent immediate surgery and has since been entrenched in an extensive rehab process. It'll be a relief whenever Cine gets back on the field in a game situation, but the former Bulldog is making his presence felt at the team's voluntary offseason workouts.

So much so, in fact, that teammates forgot Cine was even injured.

Vikings teammates are thrilled with Lewis Cine's recovery from injury

There's nothing overly taxing or physical in this practice clip, but it's still great to see Cine back on the field with teammates. He seemed to move pretty fluidly and there wasn't noticeable discomfort when he changed directions, which is a good sign.

It's easy to forget that Cine was a coveted prospect coming out of Georgia given he hardly played as a rookie and his season spanned three games, but the Vikings drafted a heat-seeking missile in the former national champ.

As a junior in 2021, Cine led Georgia with 79 tackles and eight passes defended. He notched an interception and his 11.9 forced incompletion rate and 9.3 missed tackle rate were among the best of any defensive back in the country.

Here's another look at Cine at voluntary OTAs this week.

Long story short, Cine can wear a lot of hats on defense. He's a little slow getting out of his break, which limits his ability to break on passes, but he's helped by tremendous instincts and fluid speed turns. Tackling might be his best attribute, so he could feast as a box-versatile safety in Brian Flores' defense.

It's easy to see why the Vikings deployed Cine as a special teams ace last year, but he can offer so much more than that.

We wouldn't overreact to a couple of light jogs and stretches at practice, but it's a recovery milestone for a player who suffered one of the most gruesome injuries you'll ever see on a football field.