New explanation given for Lewis Cine’s struggles with the Vikings

Lewis Cine
Lewis Cine / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

To say that Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Cine hasn't met expectations since arriving as a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft is a bit of an understatement. The former Georgia Bulldogs defensive back has struggled mightily to contribute at the NFL level.

In his two seasons with the Vikings, Lewis Cine has seen action in 10 games. In those games, he has played a total of 128 snaps with 118 of those coming on special teams and only ten coming as part of Minnesota's defensive group.

Primarily a special teams player at this point, the 23-year-old has registered one assisted tackle as a pro. There is still time for the young defender to become a contributor for the purple and gold, but patience has to be wearing thin for fans and the team's front office for him to make those adjustments.

New explanation given for Lewis Cine’s struggles with the Vikings

Injuries have been a major issue for Cine but haven't been his only issue. Injuries can cause a player to miss time and have issues with confidence and development, but that might not be the biggest thing holding him back.

Recently, Alec Lewis shared an article on The Athletic discussing Lewis Cine's situation. Apparently, relying on Cine's athleticism to translate into production on the field hasn't been working out and the coaching staff aren't sold on his ability to make plays.

"“Cine simply has not earned the faith of the Vikings coaching staff the way the other safeties in the room have. Cine’s compound leg fracture hurt his overall trajectory, but explosiveness was never the issue. From the time he arrived, he has had trouble translating his athleticism into on-field production the way he was able to at Georgia.”"

The Athletic’s Alec Lewis

2024 could be a make-or-break season for Cine. Unless he can make some progress toward becoming a regular contributor, his time with the team might come to an end soon, which is disappointing considering the investment Minnesota made by using such a high draft pick on him.

Cine will have to look for a strong backup or rotational presence this season. He is unlikely to take a starting job from Harrison Smith or Camryn Bynum but could still earn a roster spot with strong special teams play and being able to fill in when Smith or Bynum are not available.

Minnesota Vikings fans will want to keep an eye on Lewis Cine during training camp and the preseason. His situation has reached a make-or-break point that could come to a conclusion before the regular season kicks off.

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