Greg Childs hasn't given up hope of playing in the NFL someday

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 16, 2013 - 12:27 AM

One innocent play during an intrasquad scrimmage wrecked both of Greg Childs' knees in Mankato last summer but he hasn't given up.

hide

Vikings wide receiver Greg Childs

Photo: Star Tribune, Brian Peterson

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

It was supposed to be one simple play. A forgettable moment in a lifetime spent together as teammates on football fields from tiny Warren, Ark., to the mighty Southeastern Conference to the National Football League.

It began simple enough near the end of a long intrasquad scrimmage a summer ago. George Stewart, Vikings receivers coach, turned to the sideline long enough to holler a command that already was familiar as the first week of training camp ticked into its final seconds.

“He’d always say, ‘Put my Arkansas guys in the game!’ ” said Jarius Wright, one of those two former Razorbacks. “So we went in, like we always do.”

Wright lined up to the right. Wide left was Greg Childs, Wright’s sworn third-grade enemy turned inseparable friend. Wright was the small, quiet rookie fourth-round draft pick. Childs was the big, gregarious rookie fourth-round draft pick.

Two plays were all that remained of a Saturday night scrimmage at a packed and purple-clad Blakeslee Stadium in Mankato. Just two more plays until Wright hopped in Childs’ car, or vice versa, for a high-tailed escape up Hwy. 169 to the Twin Cities to enjoy a Sunday off.

Unfortunately, only one of them would survive those two snaps without having to face the likelihood that his once-promising NFL career has for all intents and purposes ended before it ever began.

Sneak preview goes awry

The ball was snapped. Christian Ponder dropped back, looked left and delivered a high-arcing pass. Perhaps it would be Childs’ six-point reward for a solid first week of camp. Perhaps it would be remembered as a harbinger of what the 6-3, 217-pound receiver would bring to an anemic passing offense when he runs a go-route fade into the corner of the end zone against a smaller defender.

“I got a good release, I’m in front by 7 or 8 yards and the ball came,” Childs said. “I adjusted to it and went to jump to go up and get it. Should have been a routine catch.”

On the other side of the field, Wright noticed something unusual. And haunting.

“I’ve been with Greg my whole life and he didn’t jump as high as I knew he could,” Wright said. “I thought to myself, ‘What’s wrong?’ Then I could hear the screaming from the other side of the field. That was tough because I was with him at Arkansas when I heard him scream like that the first time.”

That was 2010, their junior year at Arkansas, when Childs ruptured his right patellar tendon, which controls the four quadriceps muscles and extends to below the kneecap, where it is attached to the shinbone.

This time, the scream and the injury would be twice as bad. Literally. Both patellar tendons ruptured.

“This time, I didn’t even get off the ground on my jump before I heard a pop and felt both pull apart,” said Childs, who lost both knees on a play in which he wasn’t even touched. “You go into shock, but first it’s a terrible pain. And then you can’t move your legs because there’s nothing connecting them together anymore.”

Don’t compare injuries

Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman was among the first to assist Childs that Aug. 4 evening. Nineteen years earlier, Sugarman was an intern with the Chicago Bears when receiver Wendell Davis ruptured both patellar tendons when he got his feet stuck in the notoriously bad Astroturf at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia.

“From our research, there have been two or three other guys who have ruptured both on the same play,” Sugarman said. “But I don’t think you can predict what’s going to happen because the science is changing all the time. Surgical techniques get better, the athletes are different, the rehab techniques are different. You can use the history to give you an idea of the success rate, but you can’t make a determination on that because it’s not fair to the athlete, the physician, the club, the athletic trainer.”

Davis missed the 1994 season and tried to make a comeback with the Indianapolis Colts in 1995. He never played another down in an NFL game.

  • related content

  • Hartman: Vikings' Kalil at ease in second NFL season

    Sunday June 16, 2013

    Kalil not only live up to his reputation during a great rookie season that included helping Adrian Peterson to his 2,097 yards and MVP award, but Vikings coaches believe that...

  • Vikings receiver Greg Childs warms up during Minnesota Vikings OTA practice Wednesday, June 5, 2013

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota 16 FINAL
Buffalo 17
Atlanta 7 FINAL
Baltimore 29
Tennessee 17 FINAL
Washington 19
Seattle 26 FINAL
St. Louis 28
Cleveland 6 FINAL
Jacksonville 24
Cincinnati 0 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Miami 27 FINAL
Chicago 14
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Detroit 24
Carolina 17 FINAL
Green Bay 38
Kansas City 23 FINAL
San Diego 20
Arizona 24 FINAL
Oakland 13
NY Giants 21 FINAL
Dallas 31
San Francisco 17 FINAL
Denver 42
Houston 10/20/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Boston 95 FINAL
Brooklyn 90
Minnesota 112 FINAL
Oklahoma City 94
Golden State 83 FINAL
Houston 90
Charlotte 96 FINAL
Chicago 101
Utah 91 FINAL
LA Lakers 98
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
San Jose 0 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Calgary 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 1
St. Louis 0 FINAL
Anaheim 3
TX-San Antonio 20 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 27
Syracuse 30 FINAL
Wake Forest 7
Purdue 38 FINAL
Minnesota 39
Western Ky 38 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 45
(12) Baylor 27 FINAL
(22) West Virginia 41
(11) Kansas State 31 FINAL
(17) Oklahoma 30
Iowa 31 FINAL
Maryland 38
So Florida 38 FINAL
Tulsa 30
Tulane 13 FINAL
UCF 20
Virginia 13 FINAL
Duke 20
Akron 20 FINAL
Ohio U 23
Western Mich 26 FINAL
Bowling Green 14
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
Massachusetts 36
Appalachian St 53 FINAL
Troy 14
(25) UCLA 36 FINAL
California 34
Texas A&M 0 FINAL
(4) Alabama 59
Army 17 FINAL
Kent State 39
Kansas 21 FINAL
Texas Tech 34
UAB 22 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 34
Rutgers 17 FINAL
(13) Ohio State 56
(8) Michigan State 56 FINAL
Indiana 17
New Mexico 31 FINAL
Air Force 35
NC State 18 FINAL
Louisville 30
(21) Clemson 17 FINAL
Boston College 13
Ball State 32 FINAL
Central Mich 29
Cincinnati 41 FINAL
SMU 3
(9) Georgia 45 FINAL
Arkansas 32
Oklahoma State 9 FINAL
(10) TCU 42
San Jose St 27 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Miami-Ohio 41 FINAL
Northern Ill 51
New Mexico St 17 FINAL
Idaho 29
Colorado 28 FINAL
(20) USC 56
(23) Marshall 45 FINAL
FIU 13
Southern Miss 30 FINAL
North Texas 20
Georgia Tech 43 FINAL
North Carolina 48
Tennessee 3 FINAL
(3) Ole Miss 34
Utah State 13 FINAL
Colorado State 16
Missouri 42 FINAL
Florida 13
Kentucky 3 FINAL
(24) LSU 41
(16) Nebraska 38 FINAL
Northwestern 17
Georgia State 27 FINAL
South Alabama 30
Washington 20 FINAL
(6) Oregon 45
Iowa State 45 FINAL
Texas 48
(7) Notre Dame 27 FINAL
(2) Florida State 31
Nevada 42 FINAL
BYU 35
Stanford 10 FINAL
(14) Arizona State 26
Hawaii 10 FINAL
San Diego St 20
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Columbus 3 FINAL
Red Bull New York 1
Seattle 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close