EAGAN, Minn. -- Linebacker Jordan Hicks returned to the Minnesota Vikings' active roster Saturday, six weeks after he was rushed to a local hospital to treat a shin contusion that had developed into compartment syndrome -- a dangerous condition that can lead to muscle loss, amputation and, on occasion, death.

Hicks returned to practice this week, the earliest he could have under the NFL's rules for players on injured reserve, and was a full participant throughout. He had two weeks remaining in his window to be activated, and it's unlikely the Vikings would have added him Saturday if they didn't plan for him to play in Sunday's key divisional game against the Detroit Lions.

Hicks, 31, started the Vikings' first 10 games before suffering what seemed to be an innocuous bruise during their Nov. 12 game against the New Orleans Saints. By the end of the third quarter, however, he began feeling numbness in his toes and had lost all strength in the leg.

After retreating to the locker room, the pain became "excruciating," he said in an interview earlier this month. He began sweating profusely and was lying in a fetal position when medical officials decided to send him to the hospital. He was in surgery less than an hour later, he said. As a result, Hicks suffered no permanent damage.

"I feel extremely blessed and thankful for being in the situation that I'm in right now," Hicks said at the time. "It was obviously a scary situation. I didn't realize how bad it could have been."