Jon Dahlin/Viking Update

Minnesota Vikings DT Linval Joseph going to his first Pro Bowl

The Minnesota Vikings got a fifth player in the Pro Bowl after Linval Joseph was selected as an injury replacement.

Many Minnesota Vikings players say Linval Joseph is the best player on their defense and others around the NFL are starting to see why some of his teammates say that.

Joseph will be going to his first Pro Bowl after the big nose tackle was selected as an injury replacement for Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald. The announcement came Thursday morning.

Joseph finished the season with 100 tackles, seven tackles-for-loss, four sacks, 36 quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles.

He was only the fifth Vikings defensive tackles to have 100 tackles and four sacks in a season, joining Alan Page (1972-77), James White (1980-81), Henry Thomas (1990-91) and Charlie Johnson (1984).

In fact, it was the sort of production that Thomas thought possible from Joseph after Thomas visited a Vikings practice last summer.

“Outstanding year last year. What I’d like to see him do is trust his pass-rushing abilities,” Thomas said of Joseph in June. “We have a group of great tackles here – a history of great tackles here in Minnesota – and he can be right there in them. When I watch him play I’ve seen him do it. I need him to trust his pass rush and continue to do it. He’s football smart.”

Joseph will join  teammates Everson Griffen, Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson at the Pro Bowl on Jan. 29 in Orlando, Fla.


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