Michael Floyd feels 'awesome' physically, ready to contribute post-suspension

Michael Floyd finished serving a four-game suspension and is eligible to play Monday night. AP Photo/Jim Mone

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- There’s a bit of a silver lining to the unfortunate hand the Vikings were dealt in Week 4.

Just as Minnesota lost a key part of its offense when Dalvin Cook went down with a season-ending ACL tear, it added another with the return of Michael Floyd.

The wide receiver, who sat out the first four games of the season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, returned from his suspension Monday and will be back at practice Thursday.

Floyd was suspended after he pleaded guilty to a DUI conviction following a December 2016 arrest. He was released by the Arizona Cardinals and finished last season with the New England Patriots before signing with the Vikings in free agency.

The NFL allows players suspended for violating the league's substance-abuse policy to be present in meetings at the team’s facility. After the preseason ended, Floyd was still able to be around his teammates even though he could not practice or be present at games.

“Being away from the team but also being able to be in the facility and go to meetings was really helpful for me, I think for anyone who has been through my situation,” Floyd said. “Just to be here and get mental reps and just stay in the loop, I think that benefits me, for sure. Even though I’m not out there with the team, you’re still taking mental reps and doing your workout on the side. It helped.”

Physically, the veteran wideout says he feels "awesome" and is ready to fill any role in the Vikings offense.

“I’m just going to be aggressive,” he said. “I’m an aggressive player. I’m going to go out there and make plays. That’s just what I do. That’s in me, and that’s never going to stop.”

At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Floyd is the most physically imposing receiver on the Vikings' roster. In Arizona, he used that size to become Carson Palmer's favorite deep-ball threat. Floyd has averaged 15.4 yards per catch on 246 receptions for 3,781 yards and 24 touchdowns in his six NFL seasons.

Coupled with the performances of the NFL’s top-producing wide receiver duo, Minnesota has the tools to continue an aggressive aerial attack. Stefon Diggs ranks No. 1 in receiving yards with 391 and has four touchdowns, while Adam Thielen slides in at No. 3 with 358 yards.

Watching games on television at home, Floyd saw what he had anticipated.

“That’s what we expect out of those two,” Floyd said of Diggs and Thielen. “Great receivers that when a quarterback is in trouble, they’ll come down with the ball. That’s expected in our room.”

Floyd, too, can provide security for whoever is throwing the ball -- whether it’s Case Keenum or Sam Bradford -- when the Vikings travel to Chicago to face the Bears on Monday Night Football. He has a chance to emerge as the No. 3 receiver behind Diggs and Thielen and help Minnesota keep its aggressive approach in the passing game.

“Whatever they say goes,” Floyd said. “I’m in shape. I feel great. I’m ready to get started.”