The veteran Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle was a full participant in the team’s practice on Tuesday for the first time since undergoing offseason surgery.
Since he signed with the Minnesota Vikings in 2014, Linval Joseph has seen his game jump to a level where he is currently regarded as one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL.
After making the Pro Bowl in 2016 and 2017, Joseph did see a bit of a decrease in production last season though. However, the Vikings defensive tackle recently admitted that 2018, “was the hardest season (he’s) ever played,” because of the multiple injuries he was dealing with for most of the year.
During the offseason, Joseph reportedly underwent surgery to repair a shoulder injury. Since the operation, the veteran defensive lineman has only taken part in individual drills and rehab work on the side during Minnesota’s training camp this year.
But on Tuesday, Joseph was a full participant in the Vikings’ practice for the first time since his surgery. The talented defensive tackle seemed to enjoy his first full practice session of the summer.
"“It felt really good, just to see where it’s at. I’m getting back stronger every day, just hoping I can get better.”"
Joseph being cleared to fully practice is a great sign for Minnesota’s defense as the regular season quickly approaches. All 11 players who are expected to open Week 1 as starters on the Vikings’ defense are now healthy and able to fully participate in the team’s practices.
As good as Minnesota’s defensive line depth has looked during the preseason this year, having Joseph back immediately boosts the talent level of the team’s front four.
He has played an important role in the Vikings’ recent defensive success and the team will need him to stay healthy if they want to remain among the NFL’s best units again in 2019.
The upcoming season is potentially the final opportunity for Minnesota’s current version of their defense to deliver a championship to the franchise. After 2019, the Vikings could possibly part ways with Joseph, Everson Griffen, Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander, and Anthony Harris.
So if this year is going to be Joseph’s last in Minnesota, he might as well make the best of it and help lead the team to their first-ever Super Bowl victory.