Floyd walks out of the tunnel before Minnesota's playoff game against Seattle last year. (Photo credit: Kyle Hansen)

USA Today’s Tom Pelissero reports that Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd’s career may be threatened by a nerve injury — the source of the knee issues that sidelined him for all but the opening game of the season last year.

Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd’s career is in jeopardy due to complications from knee surgery the former first-round draft pick underwent last fall.

The nerve that controls Floyd’s quadriceps was disrupted during surgery in September to clean up the meniscus in his right knee, and nearly six months later, the quad still isn’t firing, people with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

This also provides us with context for why the knee hadn’t healed quickly after what seemed like a relatively minor setback and why the Vikings didn’t put him on Injured Reserve right away. By these accounts, it was a minor setback that was made worse by a surgery complication.

That’s not to say Floyd hasn’t had knee problems; Pelissero points out that he had a quick surgical cleanup in 2013 before his rookie year as well as a knee injury that took him out for the better part of four games in 2015.

Floyd posted a religious plea to the social media photo-sharing network Instagram less than a week ago, where he ominously declared, “I’m down on one knee praying my road doesn’t end here.”

When healthy, Floyd hasn’t just been good — he’s been dominant for the Vikings as one of the best under tackles in the NFL. In 2014, he ended up with one of the top Pro Football Focus scores among defensive tackles — with a final stretch of play that was second only to Aaron Donald. His only game in 2016 was excellent as well, and he was expected to return to the field soon.

The Vikings recently signed former Packers defensive end Datone Jones and carry both Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen on the roster. Jones is expected to play at Floyd’s position alongside Linval Joseph, while both Johnson and Stephen rotated there throughout the 2016 season.

It’s painful news for Floyd, and for his sake — as well as the Vikings — we hope he gets better.