Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings injury report: Ford on crutches; Joseph, Kalil cleared

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: July 24, 2014 - 3:22 PM

Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph and left tackle Matt Kalil weren’t full participants over the past three months, but Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said he expects both ready for the first practice on Friday.

Meanwhile, tight end Chase Ford could be headed to the physically unable to perform list. Ford said he had surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left foot on July 16. He arrived to Mankato on Thursday in crutches with a purple boot around his left foot. Ford said he had a screw placed in his foot doesn’t expect to be available until the start of the regular season.

Ford said he wasn’t sure when the injured occurred but his left foot did bother him during OTAs. He was competing for the backup tight end position with Rhett Ellison, Allen Reisner and AC Leonard.

“It’s a setback but everything happens for a reason,” Ford said. “Just got to keep the faith and keep going strong. Ain’t nothing you can do about it. What’s the point of getting worked up about something that you can’t control.”

Kalil said he’s been in Minnesota since the end of February rehabbing his left knee after an offseason procedure. He said he feels fully healthy at this point and the doctors cleared him a few weeks ago.

Kalil regressed after an impressive rookie season in 2012 and called last year an “average” performance. He wasn’t pleased with how he finished and how he prepared in the offseason last year.

“I don’t know if that was because the knee; I will never use that as an excuse but different things factor in," Kalil said. "I don’t think I prepared myself the right way in the offseason like I should have. I should’ve been in certain places.

“I got a whole different mindset this year. I’m not worried about it. It doesn’t stress me out. I know the way I prepared this offseason that I’m going to play well."

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