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.