Vikings give rookie LB Michael Mauti green light, cleared to practice
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MANKATO, Minn. -- Michael Mauti has torn an ACL three times in his young career - the most recent of which prematurely ended his Penn State career on Nov. 17.
Mauti, who the Minnesota Vikings took in the seventh round of the NFL draft, sat out OTAs and minicamps to continue his rehab, but worked out in front of coaches Friday morning before the first walkthrough of training camp. Mauti said he's been cleared to practice.
"I've been working hard," Mauti said. "They gave me the green light and we're going to ramp it up."
The Vikings will conduct their first full practice (helmets only) Friday afternoon.
"We weren't sure [Mauti] would be ready when we left mandatory minicamp," coach Leslie Frazier said after Friday's walkthrough. "We were all hoping he'd be ready to practice. But after spending some time with him, our coaches worked him out a bit this morning to make sure we were doing the right thing."
"He's moving around well enough that our trainers felt like we needed to get him on the field."
On top of adding free agent linebacker Desmond Bishop in the offseason, the Vikings selected two linebackers in April's draft, taking Mauti in the seventh round after fellow Nittany Lion Gerald Hodges was taken in the fourth.
Mauti, a Louisiana native, said he spent the month before training camp working out in his home state, purposely trying to intensify his own workouts to be ready.
"I was training like normal, no limitations," Mauti said. "Training in the heat."