Viral photo of Vikings player Josh Samuda's gruesome injury was mostly luck, photog says

Samuda (pictured) suffered a horrific ankle injury during a non-contact drill.

Samuda (pictured) suffered a horrific ankle injury during a non-contact drill.

On Tuesday, Pioneer Press photographer Ben Garvin was given an assignment that's usually pretty mundane -- shooting photos of a Vikings offseason workout.

"Really not much news but anytime the Vikings do anything it's covered," Garvin tells us.

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But as he was photographing players doing a drill where players would chase each other around a tight circle, Garvin heard offensive lineman Josh Samuda shriek.

"I thought it might be a twisted ankle, something minor," Garvin says. "Only later when I was looking through the photos on the back of my camera did I realize how horrible it actually was."

It turned out Garvin, mostly thanks to luck, had captured the very instant the extent of the injury became clear -- one of his photos showed Samuda's right ankle bent at close to a 90-degree angle.

"I hadn't remembered even shooting the photo that people have been talking about, just kept the shutter down through the entire sequence," Garvin says. "I happened to be at the right place -- or rather, aiming in the right direction -- at the right time."

"As soon as I saw the photo I had a sense it would be popular on the Internet -- people love to look at gross things," Garvin adds.

To see the sequence of photos Garvin is talking about, click to page two. Warning -- one of them is gruesome.

Here's Garvin's photos:
-- bengarvin (@bengarvin) April 15, 2014 Samuda, a 25-year-old who just signed with the Vikings in January after being out of the NFL last season, suffered a broken fibula, dislocated ankle, and deltoid ligament damage, ESPN reports. He had surgery yesterday.

Though he'll miss all of the upcoming season, Samuda vows to return to football: Garvin also extends his well-wishes to Samuda.

"Truly, I hope the guy is okay," he says.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]