The last several days have been rough on the Minnesota Vikings, as two players the team was hoping could contribute this season are injured—one for the season.
Perhaps rookie Greg Childs was not expected to be the No. 1 receiver, and no, he wasn’t going to carry a huge load.
However, the Vikings were hoping to get something from the big, lengthy receiver and utilize him as a red-zone threat.
They rolled the dice on him and his original injury, and it came up craps—but you can’t blame them.
For what they paid him, it was worth the risk, and the upside would have been pretty big had he stayed healthy.
His loss stings a little, but ultimately, he can be fairly easily replaced. For example tight end Kyle Rudolph is having a very good camp and at 6’6” is bigger than Childs, though he doesn’t quite get as vertical as the rookie was able to.
Still, he will be a big red-zone target for Christian Ponder, and the two had already formed good chemistry.
So this likely isn’t more than a hiccup in the grand scheme of things, though very sad for those of us pulling for Childs on the sidelines.
Hopefully he’ll make it back, but it would be just short of unprecedented.
More problematic are the continued injury woes of Geoff Schwartz. Sidelined officially on Saturday, Schwartz will undergo surgery for a sports hernia and will be out from four to six weeks.
He was battling with Brandon Fusco for the right guard spot and would have been the better of the two players. Not that Fusco is awful, just that Schwartz is better.
The problem with Schwartz has been his injuries, though, and he missed all of 2011 with a hip problem before the Carolina Panthers decided enough was enough and let him walk.
Schwartz is a great run-blocker and can find a back-up role upon his return but will have a hard time wresting the guard job back if Fusco plays even halfway decently.
The offensive line was adequate last year—at times more than that—and with Matt Kalil coming in at left tackle and Charlie Johnson moving over to left guard, the crucial part of the line is safe.
The right side is less so, though like the receivers with Childs’ injury, it isn’t devastated. Fusco is good enough to hold right guard, if unproven as a long-term answer for the spot.