EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. –After nearly a month of watching Vikings games from the couch, Michael Floyd is ready to be back on the field with his teammates.
Floyd is eligible to return for Minnesota's *Monday Night Football *matchup against Chicago on Oct. 9 after serving a four-game suspension.
"Obviously you want to be out there and contribute with your team," Floyd told Twin Cities media members on Monday. "I've been doing well, and I'm excited to get back out there."
While Floyd has been unable to participate in team practices, the NFL's substance-abuse suspension procedures allowed for Floyd's continued attendance at team meetings.
"Being away from the team but also being able to be in the facility and go to meetings is really helpful for me, and I think for anyone who's been in my situation, just to be here and get mental reps and just stay in the loop," Floyd said. "I think that benefits me for sure. Even though you're not out there with the team, you're still taking mental reps and doing your workout on the side."
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said that he's been pleased overall with the way Floyd has managed the four-game suspension.
"He's been in the meetings, he's been on top of things, he stays in contact with me," Zimmer said. "It's been good."
Floyd has been doing as much as he can to stay up to speed. During games, he said that he "calls out plays that are being ran," envisioning himself on the gridiron instead of the couch.
And in addition to mental reps taken in the meeting rooms, Floyd has continued to go through practice programs on his own.
"Going out by myself and going through the script, going through practice and just full-speed routes and what I would actually be doing if I was out there at practice with the fellas," Floyd said.
A native of Saint Paul, Floyd is grateful to be back in familiar territory with a team he grew up watching. He emphasized the tremendous support system put in place by the Vikings.
"I think I've put myself in a great position, especially being with this organization. They show a lot of support through teammates and up to the head man," Floyd said. "I think they believe in me and what I can do, my ability. But also putting everything behind me and moving forward. That was the past, and there's no looking back, and it's all positive from here."
Floyd also has plenty of backing from his former Fighting Irish teammate, Kyle Rudolph. The two lived together while attending Notre Dame and became roommates again when Floyd moved in with Rudolph and his family after signing with the Vikings.
The living arrangements have been an added connection to the team for Floyd.
"He gives me a good look inside of what's going on out there on the field, and I think it's going well," he said. "I think it's always good to talk to your teammates about football and what other guys see out there on the field. Obviously we talk about other things other than football, but it's always good to have a guy like that that you can talk to on a daily basis and get the inside scoop on what's going on in practice."
Floyd hasn't made Rudolph throw him any passes in the backyard, although he did lightheartedly add that there have been some games of "toss-up" with Rudolph's 1-year-old twin daughters.
"I think it's always good to be on a team that you know guys, just not as teammates but on a personal level," Floyd said. "Coming to this team, obviously I knew a lot of guys from experiences playing in the league but also being in college. It was just a great setup for me, and I'm glad I'm here."