It is never fun to see a player get injured for the season, regardless of what jersey he may wear. It is even more unsettling to see it happen to a rookie before his first season even started. However, that is exactly what happened to rookie wide receiver Greg Childs on Saturday.
Childs was jumping up to make a difficult catch Saturday afternoon and came down awkwardly. He immediately began screaming in pain and was eventually carted off the field. Reports came out today stating that Childs had torn both of his patellar tendons.
This was the same muscle he tore at Arkansas in his right knee during his junior year. If his recovery, then, is any indication of this injury, he may not be fully back for two years. Sadly, that is only if he can fully return from this injury.
Obviously, I am not a medical doctor, nor do I have any knowledge about this type of injury. I did read up on it here, and like with any surgery, there are risks.
I am going to refrain from stating whether he should be able to return or not because just reading that doesn't make me an expert. I only provide the link so anyone wishing to learn more has the opportunity. Each case is different, and we will just have to wait for more news.
The good news for Greg is he will have a whole season to recover, rather than injuring it midseason and trying to return early like he did in college. He also has the story of fellow Viking Chad Greenway to encourage him.
Greenway tore his ACL during a preseason game during his rookie year and missed the rest of that season. He hasn't missed a game since that injury and has consistently played at a high level throughout his career.
With Jerome Simpson virtually entrenched as a starter once his suspension is over, he could help quite a bit. But there still needs to be another receiver step up.
The team may look to the free-agent market to fill the vacancy, as players such as Plaxico Burress, Mike Williams and Roy Williams are still available. These players might not fit the mold that GM Rick Spielman is looking for, but they have all proven in the past to be capable. A more thorough analysis would have to be made before committing to any of them.
Signing someone new may not be necessary. There are many cases of talented players being buried on depth charts, finally getting an opportunity and exploding onto the field with tremendous skill. Victor Cruz of the Giants is the most recent example.
Perhaps this year, the Vikings will have their own Cruz-type player step up.
This player could be Emmanuel Arceneaux, Stephen Burton, Devin Aromashodu, Kerry Taylor, Michael Jenkins or fellow former Razorback Jarius Wright. While none of these guys play the way Childs plays, a combination may be used to help fill the void.
Sadly, the team was really looking like it was coming into its own during camp, and setbacks like this are never easy to handle. Hopefully the Vikings can.