Safety John Lowdermilk was throwing bags onto a semi-truck at a feed mill in Frytown, Iowa, when he got the invitation to try out with his dad’s former employer.

Kirk Lowdermilk played eight seasons at center with the Vikings from 1985-1992 and during his final season in the Twin Cities, John was born in Edina.

The Vikings signed John, the former Big Ten standout at Iowa, to the practice squad on Tuesday. He originally signed with San Diego as a free agent in May and was released during the final roster cuts.

“I only lived here until I was 1, so I don’t remember a whole lot about it, but I know [my dad] loves Minnesota and the area,” John said. “He lived here and played here for eight years, so I know he likes it a lot and has a lot of good things to say about it.”

Kirk was part of two division championships with the Vikings and played with star linebacker Scott Studwell.

“He was good friends with [tackle] Gary Zimmerman and [guard] Randall McDaniel. I’ve heard about him playing cards with all those guys in the locker room,” John said. “He played with Studwell and Dennis Ryan the equipment manager was also here when my dad was here, which I think is pretty cool.”

John was signed to add depth to the practice squad after safeties Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo both suffered left knee injuries over the past two weeks.

“I’m not thinking too far ahead,” John said. “Right now I’m just trying to get to know the guys and get to know the defense and do the best I can.”

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Smith practicing; Sendejo, Joseph sidelined