Nose tackle Linval Joseph is back with the Vikings in Mankato after being shot in the calf at a nightclub early Saturday. He attended the morning meetings with teammates and is said to be in good spirits.
Joseph was not at the special-teams-only morning walkthrough — he wouldn’t have been under normal circumstances — and was not made available to media, but he did release a statement through the team.
“I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and concerns over the past 24 hours,” said Joseph, who is in his first season with the Vikings after four with the Giants. “I am extremely thankful that this was a minor injury for me. As the team has communicated, this was an unfortunate situation where I, along with several others, was an innocent bystander to a senseless act. My thoughts are with all of the victims at this time. I am looking forward to getting back onto the field with my teammates in the near future.”
General Manager Rick Spielman said the expectation is that Joseph will be ready for the season opener Sept. 7 against the St. Louis Rams, but the team shared no timetable for his return to practice.
“We expect him to make a full recovery and definitely be ready by the regular season,” he said.
Head coach Mike Zimmer was stunned when he got the phone call and is relieved Joseph is OK.
“I thought ‘Oh my God.’ Thank God he is OK,” he said. “He’s a terrific young man. He’s a good, good kid.”
Both men reiterated what the Vikings said in a statement yesterday, that Joseph was an “innocent bystander” when a gunman opened fire early Saturday in a Minneapolis nightclub, shooting nine people, including Joseph.
“Coach Zimmer is always reminding our team just to make good decisions and be aware of your surroundings,” Spielman said. “There was no wrong done by Linval and he just happened to be an innocent bystander.”
Every day On most days, our Vikings reporters walk you through what’s happening that day.
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
— NT Linval Joseph is OK after being shot in the calf at a nightclub yesterday morning.
— S Kurt Coleman is happy to be out of Philly and in Minny competing for a starting spot.
— Head coach Mike Zimmer was mostly pleased with what he saw from the Vikings.
TWEET OF THE (YESTER)DAY
In dying need of a barber in MN. For business inquires please DM me. Sincerely, Wolverine
— Jabari Price (@JayPrice04) August 9, 2014
AROUND THE NFC NORTH
— The Lions protected their red zone in their preseason win over the Browns.
— OLB Julius Peppers made his Packers debut in their preseason-opening loss.
— TE Zach Miller had a memorable debut for the Bears.
TODAY’S VIKINGS SCHEDULE
The Vikings are back in Mankato with a brief walkthrough at 11:20 a.m. and practice at 3 p.m.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
The Vikings committed just ten holding penalties in 2013, the lowest total in the league.