Head linesman Ed Walker was injured during the first quarter of the Monday night game between the Vikings and Bears. Walker was carted off the field after falling while covering a punt.
Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Walker suffered a torn quadriceps muscle. Such a diagnosis means Walker is out at least next week, and probably longer depending on the degree of the strain.
The most likely replacement for Walker will be line judge Mike Spanier, one of the five swing officials that are moved around to different crews each week. The officiating department can also pull one of the head linesmen from a bye week, and since this portion of the season has the bulk of team byes, there are more crews off each week.
Walker is in his third year, hired out of the Pac-12 conference in 2014, after working the inaugural season of the advanced development program in the NFL preseason.
We’re all hoping for a speedy recovery.