Minnesota Vikings Defensive tackle Linval Joseph was added to the Pro Bowl roster yesterday, replacing injured Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
This is the first time a Vikings defensive tackle has made the Pro Bowl since Kevin Williams in 2010. Joseph joins teammates defensive end Everson Griffen, cornerback Xavier Rhodes, safety Harrison Smith, and kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson on this year’s roster.
Defensive Tackle Linval Joseph Fifth Minnesota Viking Named to Pro Bowl
Joseph, in his seventh NFL season, registered career highs of 100 tackles, 36 quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles. He also tied his career high of four sacks, set when he was with the New York Giants in 2012.
Griffen, a defensive end also in his seventh year, had eight sacks, two forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. He’s the team’s most effective pass rusher since Jared Allen left for Chicago in 2013. Despite being with the Vikings for seven seasons someone managed to misspell his name on his jersey in a game October 9th.
In his fourth year, Rhodes improved in a number of areas. He finished the season with five interceptions when he’d only had two previously in his career. Rhodes returned one for a touchdown, but more importantly he’s improved as a player in tackling, off coverage, and bump and run. The Vikings have called on him to defend such key players as Kelvin Benjamin, Odell Beckham Jr., Jordy Nelson, and DeAndre Hopkins this year. His value continues to rise as he improves in route recognition and other areas.
Smith missed two games this season with a sprained ankle, yet was still a key to the Vikings offense. Instinctive and quick, Harrison is a key blitzer and solid tackler who in addition to 91 combined tackles he managed two sacks and a fumble recovery. In his fifth year out of Notre Dame, Smith continues to be a vital leader on the Vikings defense.
Patterson, the sole member of the Vikings team to make the Pro Bowl had a solid year with 52 catches for 453 yards and two touchdowns. In his role returning kickoffs, Patterson racked up 792 yards on 25 attempts and scored one touchdown.
In all, the Vikings have had ten Pro Bowl selections under Mike Zimmer, five of them this season.