Minnesota Vikings DT Linval Joseph Injured in Shooting at Nightclub

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2014

AP Images

Updates from Monday, Sept. 1

Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported on Linval Joseph's return to Vikings practice:

Updates from Sunday, Aug. 10

The Minnesota Vikings released a statement from Linval Joseph, who was injured in a nightclub shooting:

I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and concerns over the past 24 hours. 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.

Ben Goessling of ESPN.com also provided a statement from Vikings coach Mike Zimmer after Joseph, who is expected to be ready for the regular season, returned to practice:

He's pretty good, really, for the most part. 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.

Original Text

Football fans are breathing a sigh of relief Saturday, as Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph escaped a nightclub shooting with a minor injury.

According to Vikings.com, Joseph was an innocent bystander during a shooting at 400 Soundbar in Minneapolis early Saturday morning following Minnesota's preseason opener. Although he was hit in the calf with a stray bullet, Joseph was treated and released from the hospital.

The Vikings also expressed relief that Joseph was able to avoid something far more serious.

"The entire Vikings organization is extremely thankful that Linval was not seriously hurt, and our thoughts are with all of the victims of this shooting," the statement said. "The team will defer any further comment to the Minneapolis Police Department during its ongoing investigation."

Art Stapleton of The Record was among those who sent well wishes to Joseph via Twitter:

According to Kelly Smith of the Star Tribune, several people were taken to the hospital following the shooting. Club owner Johann Sfaellos said that the shooting occurred spontaneously and was seemingly unprovoked:

Suddenly, a person just pop, pop, pop. The whole thing was surreal. It was out of the blue. It was a normal night, nice party, nice crowd. And then some guy started shooting. No arguments, no nothing.

Smith is also reporting that police are still searching for the gunman.

The 25-year-old Joseph is a former second-round pick who is entering his first season with the Vikings after spending the first four campaigns of his career with the New York Giants.

The 323-pound tackle is a space-eater who promises to free things up for Minnesota's linebackers. He inked a five-year deal with the Vikings during the offseason and is coming off the two best statistical seasons of his career.

This could have been catastrophic for Joseph, the Vikings and the NFL, but it seems as though Joseph won't have to miss much time. According to the statement on Vikings.com, he will rejoin the team this week.

Our thoughts are with the multiple victims and their families. 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.


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