BACK IN ACTION: Linval Joseph of St. Croix
MINNEAPOLIS – Linval Joseph’s return in a nationally televised football game against the team that originally drafted proved to be too much for the New York Giants as the Vikings demolished them 49-17.
Joseph anchored a defense that held running back Rashad Jennings to just 74 yards rushing on 14 carries and gave up only 234 yards in the air by Eli Manning on 15 completions.
The St. Croix native told reporters this week that he was feeling better than he has in quite some time. Last night was the only playing time Joseph has gotten this month, after suffering a foot injury at Atlanta Nov. 29.
“I’m just glad to be back, I really am,” Joseph told Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune. “I missed three weeks, and I’m just glad to be back on the field with my guys.”
The 6-foot-4, 329-pound Joseph said he doesn’t even know exactly how he got hurt but said that’s part of playing in the NFL.
“Those types of things just happen,” he said. “I feel like I was on the field, fell down, I tried to get up to walk and couldn’t walk.”
In terms of how he feels now, Joseph said he was able to maintain workouts so he thinks he can get right back into playing condition.
“Actually it has felt pretty good [this week],” Joseph said. “It felt pretty good. I feel like I really haven’t lost a beat. My conditioning, I’ve been training and doing everything to stay where I’m at now, and I’m just glad to be back.”
Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press also featured Joseph this week, writing that the six-year pro is “arguably the NFL’s best run-stuffer” at nose tackle. Many inside and outside of Winter Park thought Joseph was one of the most-deserving Vikings players to be snubbed.
“I’ve been out for three weeks,” Joseph told Murphy. “The Pro Bowl got taken away from me. I just want to go back on the field, do my job and be with my boys.”
Perhaps no Minnesota defender personifies the selfless drive for collective success than Joseph. So much pivots off his ability to penetrate and disrupt offenses.
Murphy wrote Joseph is “an athletic marvel in strength and quickness.”
“He’s probably one of the strongest human beings I’ve ever been around,” defensive end Brian Robison told Murphy.