Former Vikings Pro Bowler Signs With NFC Rival: Report

Linval Joseph, Vikings

Getty Linval Joseph of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during the NFL International Series match between Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns at Twickenham Stadium on October 29, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

With Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson week-to-week with a quad injury, many fans called for the team to bring back beloved defensive tackle Linval Joseph.

That possibility went kaput on Wednesday, when Joseph, who has been a free agent through 10 weeks of the 2022 season, signed with a team all-too-familiar to Vikings fans.

Linval Joseph Signs With Eagles

On November 16, ESPN’s Tim McManus reported that Joseph had signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles — a knee-jerk signing by the Eagles who are all-in this season but lost standout rookie defensive tackle Jordan Davis to an ankle injury.

“At 6-foot-4 and 329 pounds, [Joseph] has experience as a space-eating nose tackle — a position rookie Jordan Davis shined in before suffering a high ankle sprain on Oct. 30 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, landing him on injured reserve,” McManus wrote. “The Eagles have struggled against the run in his absence, yielding 168 yards on the ground to the Houston Texans in Week 9 and 152 yards and two touchdowns in a loss — their first of the season — to the Washington Commanders on Monday night.”

Joseph, 33, played for the Vikings from 2015 to 2019 and realized his Pro Bowl potential as the centerpiece of a vaunted Vikings defensive front. Joseph earned Pro Bowl nods in 2016 and 2017, the year Minnesota boasted the league’s No. 1 defense in yards and points allowed en route to an NFC Championship game appearance.

The Vikings lost in the conference championship to the Eagles, who now bring Joseph along in their endeavors to return to the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, Minnesota and Philadelphia appear to be on a crash course for a conference title game rematch with both teams atop the NFC with 8-1 records.

 Vikings Optimistic About Dalvin Tomlinson’s Return

In the past two games Tomlinson has missed this season, the Vikings have surrendered a whopping 312 yards on the ground.

Tomlinson is the largest defensive lineman and was brought in to play the Joseph role in Mike Zimmer’s defense, signing a two-year contract back in 2021. His return will surely give the Vikings’ defense a needed boost in the trenches, and it may be coming soon.

KSTP’s Darren Wolfson reported on November 15 that there’s “optimism” Tomlinson will participate in practice this week and take a significant step toward returning in time for Week 11’s matchup with the Dallas Cowboys.

Meanwhile, starting left tackle Christian Darrisaw and rookie cornerback Akayleb Evans are in concussion protocol and questionable this week.

Evans started in place of Cameron Dantzler who was placed on the injured reserve list with an ankle injury and will miss at least three more games.

“There’s some pessimism there that this is more than a four-week injury,” Wolfson said regarding Dantzler’s ankle injury.

Second-round rookie cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. played 37 snaps in place of Evans on Sunday against the Bills. Veteran cornerback Duke Shelley, who was signed off the street last week, stepped in for three snaps and came up with a crucial stop in overtime the play before Patrick Peterson‘s game-clinching interception.

Those two corners will be in line for significant reps in Evans doesn’t clear concussion protocol in time.

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