EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Defensive tackle Linval Joseph, who was hit in the left calf by a stray bullet in an Aug. 9 nightclub shooting in Minneapolis, returned to practice for the first time since the shooting on Sunday, and was a full participant again on Monday as the Minnesota Vikings prepared for their season opener on Sunday.
Joseph had said last week that he would be ready for the start of the regular season, and his participation in practice on Monday would suggest he's still on track to play, as would the Vikings' decision to cut nose tackle Fred Evans and start the season with only rookie Shamar Stephen backing up Joseph.
Offensive tackle Phil Loadholt was also back at practice on Monday, nine days after bruising his ankle in a preseason game against Kansas City. Wide receivers Adam Thielen and Rodney Smith, as well as linebackers Anthony Barr and Gerald Hodges, also returned from injuries.
The Vikings were without fullback Zach Line and linebacker Brandon Watts at practice, and linebacker Michael Mauti left early. Tackle Mike Harris, whom the Vikings claimed off waivers on Sunday, was watching practice on Monday.
Of the players who missed practice, though, only Watts seemed at risk of missing Sunday's game as of Monday, Zimmer said.