Vikes’ Joseph OK after being shot
MINNEAPOLIS (TSX) — Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph returned to practice Sunday, a day after he was shot in the calf by a stray bullet inside a Minneapolis nightclub.
Joseph is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season.
Joseph was struck inside 400 Soundbar early Saturday morning. The incident occurred a few hours after the Vikings beat the Oakland Raiders in an exhibition game at home on Friday night.
Police say the shooting, which wounded nine, was gang-related. Joseph was not a target.
Joseph was a treated at a hospital and later released Saturday.
“I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and concerns over the past 24 hours,” Joseph said in a statement released by the Vikings on Sunday morning. “I am extremely thankful that this was a minor injury for me. As the team has communicated, this was an unfortunate situation where I, along with several others, was an innocent bystander to a senseless act. My thoughts are with all of the victims at this time. I am looking forward to getting back onto the field with my teammates in the near future.”
Coach Mike Zimmer said Joseph was walking without crutches.
“He’s pretty good, really, for the most part,” Zimmer said. “He was in the meeting this morning and paying attention to what corrections he needs to make when he was playing. He’s a fairly quiet guy anyway so I’m sure it shook him up like it shook all of us up. He’s a very high-character, high-quality young man.”
Zimmer said he has spoken to players regularly about being aware of their surroundings and looking out for each other.
“We want to represent the fans and the state of Minnesota and the Twin Cities as people that want to be known as Vikings and good guys,” Zimmer said. “Unfortunately, this was an unfortunate incident that happened.”