It was recently reported that Minnesota Vikings nose tackle Linval Joseph was shot late last night. Following the Vikings’ preseason win over the Oakland Raiders, Joseph attended a club called 400 Soundbar, where he was reportedly struck in the calf by a stray bullet.
The most important point in this matter is that Joseph was not killed, as he only sustained a minor injury. When dealing with a person’s life, football certainly comes second.
However, from a football standpoint, a major injury to Joseph could have been catastrophic for the Vikings. Joseph signed a five-year, $31.5-million contract with the Vikings this offseason. He is expected to anchor a new-look Vikings defensive line alongside second-year defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd.
Had Joseph been severely injured, the Vikings do not have a ton of depth at the nose tackle position. Tom Johnson is currently listed as the Vikings No. 2 nose tackle behind Joseph, but does not possess nearly the same athleticism or ability to impact a football game.
Over his last three seasons with the New York Giants, Joseph played a huge role in the success of their defensive line. From the nose tackle position, Joseph recorded nine sacks and two forced fumbles while playing for the Giants.
The Vikings defensive line, which is expected to be leaps and bounds better than last season, would have taken a major hit without the presence of Joseph. Johnson and rookie Shamar Stephen played well against the Raiders last night, but they are not nearly as important to the Vikings success as Joseph.
We all wish Joseph a quick recovery and are thankful that his injuries are not more serious.