Marcus Epps shares memories of former teammate Linval Joseph


It was October of 2018, and the Eagles and Vikings were tied 3-3 in the second quarter at the Linc.

On a first-and-10 at the Vikings’ 31-yard-line, Stephen Weatherly sacked Carson Wentz and forced a fumble.

The loose ball was scooped up by 330-pound Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph, who out-ran the entire Eagles’ defense for a 64-yard touchdown that helped the Vikings beat the Super Bowl champs 23-21.

Joseph also had a sack, quarterback hit, tackle for loss and five tackles in that game.

At 330 pounds, Joseph is the largest human being to ever score a touchdown against the Eagles.

Next-largest is Cards defensive tackle Bernard Wilson, who had a 66-yard pick-6 of a Rodney Peete pass intended for Ricky Watters in a Cards’ win over the Eagles at Sun Devil Stadium in 1997.

“Our DB’s coach (Jerry Gray) would always show us the clip of that touchdown,” said Marcus Epps, who joined the Vikings a year later. “It was pretty wild seeing a guy that size who could run that fast.”

Epps and Joseph, who were teammates with the Vikings in 2019, are now reunited on the Eagles’ defense. The Eagles signed the 34-year-old free agent on Wednesday in an attempt to shore up their leaky run defense.

“He’s a presence in the middle of the trenches,” Epps said. “He’s a guy that’s hard to move. Came in every day, worked hard, did his job. … He stuffs the run, that’s what he’s been doing his whole career. It’ll be good to have him.”

Stuffing the run is something that hasn’t been happening around here lately. 

The Eagles have dropped to 20th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed at 125 per game and 25th with 4.7 yards per carry.

They’ve allowed 140 or more rushing yards in three straight games for the first time since 2006.

Rookie Jordan Davis is on Injured Reserve for at least two more weeks, and on Wednesday the Eagles placed Marlon Tuipulotu on IR. That leaves just Milton Williams and Joseph in the interior line rotation along with starters Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave.

Joseph, originally the Giants’ second-round pick in 2010, has been out of football this year after playing for the Chargers the last two seasons.

Nick Sirianni said Wednesday he expects Joseph to be able to play as soon as Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis, where the Eagles will have their hands full with Salem’s Jonathan Taylor. 

“He’s a vet, he’s a professional, he’s been doing this for a long time,” Epps said. “I definitely expect him to be able to contribute right away.”

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