By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Vikings now know who will be in camp. Now it’s a matter of who will be in the starting lineup.

One player determined to be back at the center spot is John Sullivan. He thinks the back injury that sidelined him for most of last season is part of his past.

As the Vikings marched to an 11-5 record and a division championship, all one player could do was watch from his living room.

“You know it’s just tough. You want to be out there helping your team. I’m a player,” Sullivan said. “I’m a member of the Minnesota Vikings and I’m here to play. I’m here to help, and I’m here to win. When you’re sitting on the couch at home watching games on TV you can’t do that.”

So he’s back to prove his back is OK. Sullivan has a little different perspective, having lived through and been forced to think about life without football.

“I learned how to deal with some adversity and how to be away from this. It’s very difficult to do,” Sullivan said. “Obviously to feel that separated, but I’m feeling good now. It was a tricky recovery, especially with the designation to return last year and rushing it a little bit trying to come back.”

So he trains and he works and he believes.

“I feel good. I’m just out here in the off-season program. Obviously it’s the start of Week 2 and I’m feeling great,” Sullivan said.

It’s all but assured that he will return to what he loves, and in game shape.

“I’m full-go here in the off-season program so I anticipate I’ll be going but at the same time I’ll just do what I’m told with regards to our training staff with Sugs (Eric Sugarman) and Brent (Salazar) and then the coaches,” Sullivan said. “I’m a player, I just do what I’m told.

Mike Max


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