Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph doesn't plan on letting the bullet that passed through his calf earlier this month keep him out of the Sept. 7 season opener at the St. Louis Rams.
“My concern right now from the jump was just to do what I love, which is to play football,” Joseph said when speaking to reporters for the first time since the event, according to the Star Tribune. “I just thank God that it was just a clean wound, straight in and straight out, and it’s behind me now. I’m glad I’m healthy and can help this team.”
Joseph, a free-agent acquisition designed to help plug holes in a leaky run defense, was shot in his calf at a Minneapolis nightclub earlier this month. It happened just before bar close on Aug. 9 when a gunman opened fired, injuring nine patrons. The Star Tribune reported that it was a gang-related shooting.
The Vikings said Joseph was an "innocent bystander."
“For all the victims who were involved and seriously hurt, I wish them a speedy recovery as well,” Joseph said. “You never wish for anything like that to happen to anybody.”
He added that the incident changed his perspective on life.
According to ESPN, Joseph did some "hard running" for the first time on Monday. He won't play in Thursday's preseason finale against Tennessee, but he should be back to practice in a normal next week.