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Holton Hill 'Grateful for Opportunity' to Return to Vikings

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings secondary could get a boost going forward, as cornerback Holton Hill is now eligible to return from suspension.

The second-year cornerback was assessed a pair of four-game suspensions in the offseason.

"It's an amazing feeling. I'm happy to be back with the guys," Hill said. "I'm just ready to get to work."

"I'm really grateful for this opportunity," Hill later added. "Most people only get one opportunity at this, so I'm really grateful … to be with such a great organization that stood by me and believes in me."

Hill joined the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in the spring of 2018. He played in all 16 games, starting three of them and recording his first career interception against the Jets.

Hill wasn't allowed inside Twin Citied Orthopedics Performance Center the first four weeks of the season, but said he spent time working out on his own in the Twin Cities.

The cornerback was allowed inside the team facility over the past four weeks, but could only attend meetings.

"Just being really attentive in meetings," Hill said. "And when I was able to work out, just going hard and realizing when I was out that I wanted to come back full-speed."

He hasn't practiced with the Vikings since before the preseason.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer was asked Friday how he expects Hill to fare in his return to the team.

"I don't know," Zimmer said. "He hasn't practiced in eight weeks, so we'll have to see when he gets out there."

Hill, who said he feels great physically and mentally, said he plans on continuing to work to build back the trust of those within the organization.

"It was a big thing for me, that my teammates and coaches and everybody had my back throughout everything," Hill said. "It motivated me to go hard and work off the field, mentally and physically, and come back ready to go to work with them.

"I'm taking strides to earn everyone's trust back, not just Coach Zim'. He's talked to me. I'm ready to get to it," Hill later added.

Hill played 374 defensive snaps (36.0 percent) and 260 snaps on special teams (58.2 percent) in 2018.

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster for the 2019 season.

The 22-year-old said he wants to help the team any way possible.

"I'm willing to take on any role the team needs me to do, and I'm going to do it to the best of my ability," Hill said. "I'm just taking it day-by-day. I'm willing to do anything from special teams to playing on the defensive side."

In the bigger picture, however, Hill said he was glad to have time to focus on himself before getting a chance to return to the Vikings.

"It was tough," Hill said. "But I tried to use it as a positive aspect, just watch and let it motivate me to go harder, just so I can come back and match their energy."

"I don't really want to go into the details on everything," Hill said of his suspensions. "But I had time to evaluate some of the decisions I made in the past and just learning how to make wiser decisions."

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