MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Vikings’ organized team activities continue this week and among the visitors was a welcome addition to the camp — former Vikings defensive end Kenechi Udeze.

Udeze, who had his playing career cut short by leukemia, is part of an NFL internship program and is pursuing a career in coaching.

He talked with the media Tuesday.

“I’m not saying football wasn’t important. It is always and forever be my passion and something that I’ll never, you know, lose sight of, but coming up on my five-year anniversary here in July, I have a lot to be thankful for,” Udeze said. “I hear all these stories about other people having to endure (leukemia) for years and years. I went through it for six months and I was just fortunate that my physical health, and the state that I went in, helped me so much with the recovery. But to say I only have nerve damage, that’s a blessing.”

Udeze worked with the Seahawks’ defensive line last year. He was working with the Vikings defensive line Tuesday.

The Vikings picked Udeze 20th overall in the 2004 NFL Draft. He played four season before being diagnosed with leukemia.

Mike Max

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