It’d be reasonable for former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph to hold a grudge toward his replacement.
Joseph was crucial in helping the Vikings, which allowed the most points in the NFL in 2013, transform the league’s stingiest unit by 2017. He became one of the league’s most formidable interior linemen and played six seasons in Minnesota before injuries and age caught up to him.
The Vikings moved on from Joseph, who now plays for the Los Angeles Chargers, last offseason and signed Baltimore Ravens nose tackle Michael Pierce as his replacement as a true run-stuffer in the middle of the defensive front.
Instead of ridding himself of his ties to Minnesota, Joseph has taken Pierce under his wing this offseason and recently touted his support for Pierce.
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‘He Will Shock the League’
Last week, Joseph posted a photo of Pierce and him at Higher Power Training in Eden Prairie, Minn., with a caption giving his full support to Pierce.
“I want to give my blessing to @mpierce_97 for his upcoming season in the Minnesota Vikings. He is young and talented and will shock the league this year with his performance. Let’s all remember not to hate but instead trying to be great!”
Pierce responded, “Means The World. I’ll be back next week for more work,” using the goat emoji to refer to Joseph.
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Pierce Suffers Setback
Unfortunately, Pierce’s offseason training took a turn for the worst on Monday after news broke that he suffered a “fairly minor” calf injury, per the Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling. He is expected to miss the first two weeks of training camp but is expected to recover in time for the regular season.
Pierce’s calf injury becomes the latest setback as the 28-year-old has yet to see the field since Minnesota signed him in March 2020. Pierce opted out of the 2020 season due to respiratory issues amid concerns during the pandemic. He revealed he is fully vaccinated during a press conference in April, per Pioneer Press reporter Chris Tomasson.
The Vikings’ defensive line remains in good shape to start training camp with newly signed veterans Dalvin Tomlinson and Sheldon Richardson leading the group. Jaylen Twyman, a sixth-round rookie who was struck by four bullets in Washington D.C. last month, is expected to make a full recovery in time for training camp.
Armon Watts and 2020 fourth-round pick James Lynch figure to be in the mix for significant reps during training camp as well.