Munnerlyn has weight down, foot recovering

Captain Munnerlyn’s foot is getting better, his weight is down and his familiarity with everything Vikings is up.

After an admittedly disappointing 2014 season in his first year with the Minnesota Vikings, Captain Munnerlyn suffered a foot injury earlier this month that he hopes won’t start 2015 on a repeat path of 2014.

Munnerlyn started his first training camp with the Vikings on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list and is determined to not have that happen again.

After the first two weeks of organized team activities, Munnerlyn incurred an injury that had his foot in a boot for more than a week. The boot was off for minicamp last week and, while he was running on the side, he still wasn’t practicing.

“Feeling better. They’re just being cautious with me and things are going good,” he said.

“… I just want to be ready for training camp. I’m not trying to start training camp on the PUP list like I did last year. I’m just trying to be ready for training camp and be ready to compete and be ready to go.”

Maybe the 15 pounds he lost between January and April will help speed his recovery.

“I feel quicker. I feel faster. I feel better,” Munnerlyn said. “I even wake up in the morning like, oof. I used to wake up in the morning sluggish and this and that, but I wake up in the morning and feel good.”

Since the end of his first season with the Vikings, Munnerlyn has admitted “a million times” that it wasn’t his best season. The Vikings signed him mainly to be their nickel cornerback, but a lack of quality outside cornerbacks led to Munnerlyn playing there too, which is what he wanted – and being considered a starter remains important to him.

“I think last year was a good sign for me to go back to the drawing board, a good sign for me to lose this weight that I had on me and get back to my roots and do what I’m used to doing – and that’s competing and that’s to make plays,” he said. “Last year, I wasn’t very confident in this scheme. I was playing with new guys and I had to get used to these guys and I feel like this year I’m used to them. I’m used to my coaches. I know what Coach (Mike Zimmer) expects out of me. I know what Coach (Jerry) Gray expects out of me, I know what Coach George (Edwards) expects out of me.”

Familiarity in the scheme should help. So should having Terence Newman, who joined the team on a free-agent contract this year and is well-versed in Zimmer’s scheme. But for any of that to take hold and Munnerlyn carve out a significant role early, he will need to be ready for training camp with a completely healed foot.

“I don’t think it’s set me behind at all because I know the defense. I don’t think it set me back at all,” he said. “I know what I’m doing. I’ve been in this game for a pretty long time now, so I know what I need to do and I know what I’ve got to do. I’m excited.”

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