Minnesota Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks was hospitalized on Sunday night after their win over the New Orleans Saints when he developed compartment syndrome in his right leg, head coach Kevin O’Connell revealed on Monday.
Hicks underwent a procedure on Sunday night and remained in the hospital on Monday. It’s unclear when he will be able to leave the hospital. The Vikings then placed Hicks on injured reserve on Tuesday, meaning he'll miss at least the next four games.
Hicks went down in the first quarter of the Vikings’ 27-19 win on Sunday afternoon after he collided with teammate Cam Bynum on a tackle. He returned later in the game to play an additional 23 snaps, according to ESPN, but was ruled out in the third quarter with what the team said was a shin contusion.
Hicks’ right leg swelled up significantly after the game in the locker room, however, and the team’s medical staff opted to send him to the hospital. Doctors there recommended he undergo the procedure right away.
Compartment syndrome, according to the Cleveland Clinic, is when pressure and swelling rises in and around muscles. The injury is most commonly found in the lower leg, and it can lead to permanent muscle damage, disability, paralysis or even death if left untreated.
"I give our medical staff [credit] for getting him quickly to the hospital," O'Connell said Monday, via ESPN. "He's doing well and on the road to being fully back in our facility."
Hicks is in his second season with the Vikings. The 31-year-old is a team captain, and he’s racked up 87 total tackles and returned a fumble for a touchdown while playing in 93% of snaps this season. Hicks, who also spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals, is in the final year of a two-year, $10 million deal with the Vikings.
With Hicks out on Sunday night against the Broncos, rookie Ivan Pace is expected to fill in. Pace had a career-high five tackles in the Vikings’ win over the Saints.
The Vikings, led by newly acquired quarterback Joshua Dobbs, rolled past the Saints to grab their fifth straight win on Sunday. Dobbs, who was traded to the Vikings after Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles last month, threw for 268 yards and a touchdown in the game, and ran another one in himself. At 6-4, the Vikings sit in second in the NFC North standings behind the Detroit Lions.
With Hicks landing on injured reserve, he could return as soon as their Christmas Eve game against the Lions. The Vikings had a bye week in there, too, which will allow more time for him to recover. The Vikings will take on the Denver Broncos next weekend.