One of the biggest steals in this year’s free agency could be defensive tackle Linval Joseph. The Minnesota Vikings picked him up this offseason to man an open spot on the defensive line. They signed him to a 5 year – $31.5 million deal in hopes that he can help secure the middle in Mike Zimmer’s new defense.
The only real problem (and most likely one of the main reasons why they were able to secure the rights to him at a discount) was that he required offseason surgery on his shoulder. The shoulder can be a delicate part when we talk about the duties that a defensive tackle has to do. While he doesn’t have a big history of injuries, it’s good that he’s taking the time to let the shoulder heal following the procedure that he had this offseason.
The excellent news for the Vikings and their fans is that Joseph looks to be on track to participate in training camp when the team is scheduled to report on July 24th. He was limited in workouts during organized team activities but it sounds like he’ll be a full participant in training camp.
Ben Goessling of ESPN.com shared this quote from Linval Joseph in an article on ESPN.com:
“I’m ready, man. We’ll just wait until the start of training camp [to go all out]. Everything should be cleared up and ready to go.”
He also feels that he can catch up to the progress that others have made pretty quickly in another quote from the same ESPN.com article:
“I feel like I’m not too far behind. I’m just waiting until the start of training camp, to show what I can do.”
And hopefully he can do a lot. The Minnesota Vikings have lacked a real big body in the middle since the days of Pat Williams clogging up the middle as a part of the Williams Wall. If he can, this Vikings defense will be able to turn around from the laughing stock that they have been over the last couple years.