Vikings WR Michael Floyd looking forward to first game after suspension
CHICAGO — After his final practice before his first game this season, Michael Floyd, the St. Paul native in his first season with the Vikings, said he doesn't anticipate any hiccups Monday night, Oct. 9, when he returns for his first game since being suspended following an extreme DUI conviction.
"I was able to be around and study the playbook the whole month, so it was easy to jump back in and made for a smooth transition," Floyd said. "I think it would be very difficult if I were away from the team and didn't have a playbook. But when I got out there it was pretty easy to adjust and get back in."
Floyd, who went to Cretin-Derham Hall High School, caught 23 touchdown passes with the Arizona Cardinals for parts of the past five seasons before being cut following his arrest.
"I'm excited," Floyd said of his return to the field. "I think anyone in my position would be excited to get out there, be with the teammates and contribute to the team."
Floyd went to Notre Dame from 2008-11 where he compiled 37 touchdowns en route to becoming a first-round draft pick. The 27-year-old said he still has lots of friends from college in the Chicago area that will come Monday to the Vikings' game.
Floyd said he's looking forward to playing in front of them — and playing in his first meaningful NFL game this season.
"I want to get out there really bad because I've been sitting out the last month," Floyd said. "I'll do everything I can to make sure I stay focused and prepare myself for this weekend."
A year after injuries derailed the Vikings' offensive line, the team enters their fifth game of the season with a completely healthy group of linemen who have played together every game this season.
That has led to improvements there, coach Mike Zimmer said, and is in stark contrast to last season.
"You saw from a year ago to now, the difference in what they're doing," Zimmer said. "The offensive line is playing good. They have a good group. The communication level has been good. It really is important (to stay healthy)."
The Vikings' five starting offensive linemen have only had to miss a combined four snaps all season
"That helps," offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. "What they do individually blocking their guy is certainly important. But what's most important is how they play as a unit. So, the longer the unit can play together, the better they have a feel and really, the more efficient they can become. I think there's some benefit to that. The first quarter of the season we've been able to play the same five guys."
Backup offensive tackle Rashod Hill was the only Vikings player who didn't participate in Saturday's practice. Bradford and Jayron Kearse were the only limited participants.