Can Griffen and Joseph bounce back?
2018 was a massive disappointment for Everson Griffen as he spent a good portion of his season working on his mental health. Further down the line, the Vikings also had a down year from Linval Joseph, who spent most of the season banged up and lost some of his effectiveness because of it.
With both players on the wrong side of 30, this year stands to be a huge season for both not only for the success of the team, but for themselves as well.
Griffen has a lot to prove after taking a step back in 2018. While some of the situation was beyond his control, he wasn’t effective when he was on the field, posting his lowest sack total since becoming a starter in 2014 with just 5.5 sacks.
While that’s a concern, he’s also just one year removed from picking up 13 sacks in 2017 even while dealing with a foot injury.
Joseph is in the same boat after his play declined as the season rolled along. According to the former Pro Bowler, a collision with Danielle Hunter in Minnesota’s Week 5 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles caused a lot of the damage and his ability to penetrate in the middle of the defensive line just wasn’t there for the rest the year.
With both players healthy, they could enjoy bounce-back seasons in 2019. Although the Vikings have tremendous depth in the trenches, getting both players back to their Pro Bowl form, would be massive for the team’s defense.