Sharrif Floyd joked around with his fellow Vikings defensive linemen on Wednesday, but he was still unable to join them during practice.
Floyd, the former first-round pick who should be entering the prime of his career for the Vikings, is still unsure whether or not he’ll be able to play this season after complications from knee surgery in September caused nerve damage affecting his quadriceps in his right leg, a league source told the Star Tribune in March.
“Fighting to stay positive,” Floyd said from the Winter Park practice fields. “Sticking with my team. That’s the bright side of things now. Just working out and training. I’m taking care of everything in my power and controlling what I can control.”
However, Floyd said his workouts still don’t include running.
“I think the situation definitely humbled me,” Floyd said. “It can be taken from me at any moment. I’m just looking forward to getting back out there and enjoying the game I love so dearly.”
The 2013 first-round pick missed all but one game last season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to clean up the meniscus in his right knee. This spring, Floyd’s quad still wasn’t working properly after the nerve controlling it was impacted during surgery nine months ago.
“I feel like progress is being made,” Floyd said. “It’s just taking its sweet old time.”
Floyd said it “might be a little too early to say” whether or not he’ll play for the Vikings this season, his last year under his rookie contract in Minnesota. The Vikings picked up Floyd’s fifth-year option in 2016 worth nearly $6.8 million, which was guaranteed for injury and is now fully guaranteed.
Floyd remains hopeful he’ll make a full recovery and wouldn’t go as far as to say his football-playing career was in jeopardy.
“No one has said that,” Floyd said. “I think it’s just a rumor going around right now. But right now, I think everything is going to be all right. It’s just a matter of when.”
Floyd declined to get into details about his injury, adding the recovery process is out of his control.
“No one really knows what’s going on, you know?” Floyd said. “But again, I’m just trying to focus on the things I can control and hanging with my teammates.”
In the meantime, veteran defensive tackle Tom Johnson has taken Floyd’s place in the starting defense next to Linval Joseph during two Organized Team Activity practices open to the media this month. The Vikings also drafted Jaleel Johnson and signed ex-Packers veteran Datone Jones and moved him to defensive tackle.