Vikings rookie safety Lewis Cine enjoyed the team's season-opening win over the Packers, but he would've enjoyed it even more if he had been able to be out on the field with his teammates.
Cine, who was sidelined with a minor knee injury, confirmed on Thursday that barring any setbacks, he'll make his NFL debut on Monday night in Philadelphia.
"That was tough because that was the first game and it was against the Packers, Aaron Rodgers," he said. "I really wanted to be involved in that but I couldn't, unfortunately. I made sure I was locked in mentally, was there supporting my teammates, and then preparing for this week."
Cine's knee issue was just an aggravation of a previous injury, but the Vikings wanted to play it safe with their first-round pick. He practiced in full on Thursday and is looking forward to playing in his first regular season game.
"I'm really excited," Cine said. "To finally show what I've got, what I bring to the table. That's all I'm thinking about is Monday. Preparing the right way, making sure I stay keyed in. I really prepared the whole summer and in camp. To finally get to show out, make my debut, is going to be important for me."
It's unclear what Cine's role will be. He's not a starter, as second-year safety Camryn Bynum won the job next to Harrison Smith during training camp. Cine will definitely play on special teams, and we'll have to wait and see if he gets some defensive snaps in certain packages. His skill set could be appealing to the Vikings on obvious passing downs if they want to play dime and put a sixth defensive back on the field.
Cine is willing to do whatever is asked of him.
"Wherever they want me to play, if it's lineman, O-line, wherever it is, I'll play," he said with a smile. "Wherever I can contribute. I know the coaches have the right scheme and will put me in the right places to contribute the best way I can."
Getting to play at home last week against the Packers would've been ideal, but this week's setting is still pretty cool for Cine's NFL debut. On the road, in one of the most hostile environments in the league, in primetime on Monday Night Football.
Cine's looking forward to getting out there and playing, and he's also looking forward to seeing former Georgia teammates Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean and catching up with them after the game.
Andrew Booth Jr. remains sidelined
The Vikings' second pick of this year's draft seems less likely to make his debut on Monday. Booth is still dealing with a quad injury and didn't practice on Thursday.
"We’re still working through his treatment every single day," Kevin O'Connell said. "He’s (rehabbing) around the clock right now, seeing where he’s at."
Booth could still return to practice on Friday or Saturday and give himself a chance to play, but it looks like his debut may have to wait another week or two.
Outside of Booth, everyone on the active roster was a full participant in Thursday's practice.
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