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Linval Joseph: Toe is 'Almost to 100'

At 6-foot-4 and 329 pounds, Linval Joseph isn't going to be confused for a running back or a receiver.

The Vikings nose tackle, however, has a commonality — albeit an unpleasant one — with lighter, faster players often categorized as "skill players."

Joseph suffered from turf toe, a ligament sprain, for the first time in 2015.

"Normally [it affects] running backs or skill guys," Joseph said this week before quipping, "I guess I'm a skill guy." 

Despite the injury, Joseph's powerful play in the 12 regular season games that he started led to his selection as Vikings Defensive Player of the Year. He recorded 71 tackles (43 solo), 8.0 tackles for loss, one-half sack, 26 quarterback hurries and two passes defended last season.

"Without the team, I wouldn't have gotten this award," Joseph said Sunday night at the **Minnesota Football Honors Awards Dinner**. "The linebackers doing their jobs, the defensive ends doing their job. I'm just glad and honored."

For the fourth consecutive year the Vikings recognized the 2015 winners of the Minnesota Football Honors on Sunday.

Joseph drew praise from Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer during the season for a level of play that enabled teammates to do their jobs better. The team result was an 11-5 record and NFC North title, and Joseph also received designation as NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 9 after a game-wrecking performance against the Rams that included 3.0 tackles for loss and four quarterback hurries.

Asked about his injury by reporters, Joseph said his toe "is back, almost to a hundred."

"When you're fully 100, it's 110," Joseph added. "I had a lot of time to rest. I've been in Minnesota this whole offseason, just resting and getting ready for this season."

Joseph and teammates returned to Winter Park on Monday for the beginning of the Vikings voluntary offseason workout program.

He said he's excited about the number of players who are back for the Vikings this season, as well as the opportunity to open U.S. Bank Stadium. Joseph was a rookie with the New York Giants in 2010 when the facility know known as MetLife Stadium opened.

"We have a great group of guys, I feel like on the whole team, but our core defensive guys, I love our guys," Joseph said. "We communicate, we talk, and everybody wants to be great, so when you have a lot of guys that are hungry, it makes it easy to work together.

"I love this team, and I can't wait for this coming season, inside the new stadium," Joseph added. "Everybody plays faster, and it's just going to be a new energy. Everybody is going to have energy, from the fans to the reporters."

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