Vikings cornerback brought off PUP list but isn’t ready to play

Mike Hughes was removed from the physically-unable-to-perform list on Monday, bringing the cornerback one step closer to returning to the field. Hughes, however, reportedly isn’t yet ready to take part in practice.

“I’ve never been hurt like this before,” Hughes said on Monday. “It’s been challenging. It’s just been another story to add to my journey. I’ve just been trying to embrace every bit of it. Just working hard. Just trying to get back and be with my guys and do what I love.”

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said at the start of training camp that Hughes had suffered a “multi-ligament injury” that ended his rookie season last October against the Arizona Cardinals. It was initially reported that Hughes had a torn left ACL but no other damage was revealed.

“It feels good,” Hughes said. “I’m just so ready to get back out there with my guys and compete. It’s been almost a year since I’ve been out there. Just anxious to get back.”

Hughes, the Vikings’ first-round pick in 2018, opened camp on the PUP list. If Hughes had been on the PUP to open the regular season he would have been forced to six out the first six games. He can now return to action whenever he is cleared to play.

“The next step is to keep being smart about the process and keep doing things that allowed me to get off the PUP list,” Hughes said. “Just keep working hard. I’m excited to get back out there.”