The level of activity at Winter Park is always busy on one side of the building, the one where suits and ties are worn.
Brandon Fusco is among the tumbling tumbleweeds that finds himself getting to know head to know Eric Sugarman’s business side for the first time.
Fusco, who is heading up to Thief River Falls Friday for the 20th Annual Arctic Blast Snowmobile Rally – a three-day event that is one of the primary fundraisers for the Vikings Children’s Fund – is on the road to recovery from a torn pectoral muscle.
“It’s getting better,” Fusco said. “I’ve been able to start lifting weights for the last three or four weeks now. It’s not how I usually do it, because I lift weights a lot, but it’s part of the process and things are going pretty well.”
Fusco won’t be riding in the Arctic Blast because the team is taking every precaution with him, but that won’t be anything new for Fusco, whose next snowmobile experience will be the first for the Pennsylvania native.
“I’ve never driven a snowmobile before,” Fusco said. “We would get snow in the winter in Pennsylvania growing up, but not the kind you need to go snowmobiling in. It’s something I’m looking forward to doing at some point, but I haven’t done it yet.”
It would seem that Fusco isn’t using his injury as an excuse not to ride. He owns a snowmobile – part of a thank you gift for a job well done in 2012.
“Adrian Peterson gave all of us on the offensive line snowmobiles when he ran for 2,000 yards,” Fusco said. “I haven’t used mine yet. It’s in storage. But hopefully I’ll be able to get on it and learn how to ride properly. It looks like it will be fun.”
During Arctic Blast weekend, Fusco is likely going to be asked questions on a variety of topics, not the least of which being his opinion on the questionable play call by the Seattle Seahawks not to hand the ball to Marshawn Lynch with the Super Bowl on the line from the 1-yard line. Having been one of the offensive line plows in front of Peterson, arguably the best power back in the NFL, like millions of fans who were watching, he was shocked to see the Seahawks not use their bread-and-butter back to seal the deal from in close.
“Being an offensive lineman, my opinion is kind of biased,” Fusco said. “I love to run block, so if I had my choice in that situation, we would run the ball. But their coaches thought they saw something they could take advantage of, but I was just as stunned as anyone when they decided to throw the ball. The coaches made the call, but, if it was up to me, I would have run the ball in there and let the linemen and the running back do their jobs.”
Fusco’s return to action is on the horizon as he recovers from the first surgery he’s ever had. He said the most difficult part of the process has been holding back on pushing too hard to make his return. As one of a handful of players that are still walking the halls of Winter Park, he knows the lonely feeling that there is being one of the few players left behind. At the same time, he is working hard with Sugarman and his staff and is making strides for a full recovery and return.
“I’m feeling a lot better every week,” Fusco said. “It comes in small steps, but you can tell the difference from one week to the next that it’s getting stronger and recovering. Right now, I expect to be 100 percent and ready for OTAs this spring. I can’t push it too hard right now, but I’m excited to get back. With the progress Teddy (Bridgewater) is making, there is a lot to be excited about and I just can’t wait to get back and be part of it.”
Fusco lifting weights, making progress
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