Linval Joseph says his toe is ready to go.
The Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle missed four games in the final two months of the 2015 season dealing with a toe injury and he spent offseason workouts as mostly an observer, but a week away from training camp he said he, and his toe, are ready to go.
“Every day is different. But right now I’m ready to go. I’m happy,” Joseph said while attending a media event at U.S. Bank Stadium on Wednesday. “I’m happy where I stand. I think everybody else is happy where I stand and right now we’re ready to see some football. I’m ready to go.”
Joseph was far from alone as an observer at the team’s offseason practices in May and June. Numerous players were either out, taking turns recovering from injuries, or getting some time off.
“Some players, as you get older, you get little nicks and bruises. Right now, we want everybody healthy so we want to do what it takes to get everybody healthy and get everybody ready for this first game of the season or right now get ready to go to training camp,” Joseph said. “… Training camp you’re finding your identity and you’re finding your team.”
The Vikings report to training camp in one week, on Aug. 28, and start practices the next day.
Last year, the defense was fifth in the NFL for points allowed and has big expectations entering 2016 with all the starters returning. Joseph is intent on setting new goals.
“I want us to stop the run. I don’t want to give up a hundred-yard game this whole season,” he said. “I want us to play better in the secondary. I just want us to finish games. I want us to play together for the full 60-minute game and that’s what we’re going to work on in training camp – work on all the mistakes we made last year and we want to minimize that.”
The real work begins in a week, but Joseph is happy to step foot (and adjoining toe) back on the practice field.
“As long as I stay healthy, it’s fun,” he said. “I’m excited.”