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Colored Contacts Add to the Fire in Sharrif Floyd's Eyes


MANKATO, Minn. — Sharrif Floyd has a fire in his eyes that goes beyond his competitive spirit.

The Vikings defensive tackle has turned to specially tinted contact lenses this offseason and training camp that have an orange-and-reddening effect around his retinas.

The lenses, however, are designed to help his pupils with light sensitivity.

"I'm just trying to get the sun out of my eyes," Floyd said. "Everything is orange, and I like it that way."

Floyd said he doesn't have an eye condition of any kind, but bright lights inside and the sun have caused what he describes as an "irritation rather than a headache."

The lenses have helped Floyd on the gridiron, and he said people would be surprised to hear how many compliments he's received.

"I just stick with the orange," Floyd said. "Nike has a great deal going with their contacts, and I'm glad they were able to help out."

Floyd said he might use a tinted visor in games, similar to Brian Robison, instead of the contacts.

Eyewear aside, The 25 year-old arrived in Mankato for his fourth training camp on Thursday with his sights set on bigger goals for the Vikings in 2016.

"We didn't achieve our goal last year," Floyd said. "There's no trophy on our chests."

Floyd compiled 34 total tackles, 2.5 sacks and one pass defensed in 12 games started for Minnesota in 2015.

"So far everything looks good, especially coming out of OTAs and where we got to over those four weeks," Floyd said.

Floyd has some options for players to turn to for advice who played alongside him on the defensive line last season.

One of the Vikings three Pro Bowlers on the defense last season is Linval Joseph, Floyd's partner in the middle.

Despite playing only 12 games last year due to injuries, Joseph was ranked number 76 on the Top 100 Players List on earlier in the offseason.  He compiled 46 total tackles and was the anchor of the defensive front.

Floyd was limited to 13 games due to injuries, and it's agreed that the Vikings defensive unit as a whole is at its best with the two fellow lineman in the middle.

"Those two guys are good guys, good players," Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said. "They've worked really hard to get back and ready. I think Linval is really excited about getting going with the season, and so it should be fun. They have worked hard to get back."

Floyd echoed his head coach's thoughts.

"It's been a blessing playing next to him," Floyd said. "Linval and I have got a good bond, and we work together really well. We [feed] off of each other and we play really hard for each other."

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