Dec 1, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss (89) runs with the ball as New York Giants defensive tackle Linval Joseph (97) attempts to tackle in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. The Giants won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings Linval Joseph expected to be ready for camp


The Minnesota Vikings should have a great defensive line next year, and the unit will be even better than last year after the addition o defensive tackle Linval Joseph and the development of fellow DT Sharrif Floyd, who has plenty of untapped potential (especially when it comes to rushing the passer). Brian Robison was locked up last season, Everson Griffen received a big deal from the Vikings before the start of free agency, and the starting four could end up forming the best defensive line in a division that has plenty of top talent on that side of the trenches (the Chicago Bears made some huge moves, including the signing of former Viking Jared Allen).

Joseph is the newcomer, but the former New York Giants DT hasn’t been able to get any work in with his teammates this offseason after undergoing shoulder surgery before signing his five-year deal with the Vikings. The surgery was minor, as the team was comfortable with signing him, and ESPN NFL Nation’s Ben Goessling writes that Joseph “is supposed to be ready” for training camp, adding that the Vikings probably kept him out of previous offseason workouts for precautionary reasons.

Nobody should be worried about Joseph’s health going forward, and even fewer people should be worried about his ability. He’s one of the better DTs in this league, as he can push the pocket as an interior pass rusher and plug up holes in the running game. If Floyd can make big steps in his second year, then the Vikings inside duo will be excellent. Fred Evans is a nice backup, but the Vikings depth at DT isn’t great. An injury to Joseph  of actual significance would really hurt, but this shoulder ailment sounds like a minor issue.

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Tags: Injury Report Linval Joseph Minnesota Vikings

  • Bob T.

    Good article, Joe, but you forgot about Stephon. I think the Vikes will only carry 4 DTs and Stephon will probably be the 4th. Not completely sold on Evans but probably have to go with experience this year. Just my opinion. Keep on writing. SKOL

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      Thanks for the kind words, Bob, and the heads up on Stephen. He’s an interesting rookie, and his playing style as a run-stuffer makes him a different animal than guys like Floyd. I haven’t heard much about him, but he should lock up a roster spot if he has a strong camp. I’ll keep an eye on him, because he could be a darkhorse despite his lack of athleticism. But you know who I also forgot? Corey Wootton can play some DT if needed, and he’s a good, veteran run-stuffer.