Life is good for Linval Joseph. He is grateful he didn’t lose it.
The Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle spoke publicly Tuesday for the first time since he was shot in the leg at a nightclub earlier this month. He’s on track to play in the season opener, despite being struck by a stray bullet in the left calf during a downtown nightclub disturbance a few hours after the team finished its first exhibition game.
Joseph has been wearing a protective sleeve over the muscle and working out to rebuild his stamina, but said he feels good and that he’ll be ready to practice at full speed next week. The Vikings play Sept. 7 at St. Louis.
“I want to thank God for blessing me throughout the situation, because it could’ve been really worse than what it was. I want to thank my family, my friends, my teammates, the medical staff, for helping me through a speedy recovery,” Joseph said. Joseph also wished the other victims of the attack well. Nine people were injured, two seriously, in the shooting inside the 400 Soundbar, which has since been closed. Minneapolis police said the gunman had an intended target and that they believe the incident was gang related.
This is the 25-year-old Joseph’s first season with the Vikings. He left the New York Giants as a free agent for a hefty contract featuring $12.5 million guaranteed over five years with a maximum value of $31.25 million.
Around the league
The Buccaneers obtained six-time Pro Bowl OG Logan Mankins from the Patriots for TE Tim Wright and a draft pick. The Bucs are also interested in signing OG Richie Incognito, one of the central figures in the Dolphins bullying scandal. … Redskins SS Brandon Meriweather will appeal a two-game suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Colts WR Torrey Smith. … Raiders CB DJ Hayden will miss at least the first six weeks of the season after being placed on the physically unable to perform list with a stress fracture in his right foot.