INDIANAPOLIS – Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said shortly after the season ended that he expected defensive end Everson Griffen to have shoulder surgery after playing in the Pro Bowl. But Zimmer said Thursday that the doctor who examined Griffen decided that surgery was not necessary at this time.

"He's going to continue to rehab and I don't know the exact date he's going back. Unless [something has] changed, he's not going to have anything," said Zimmer, who acknowledged that Griffen was "probably" dealing with a torn labrum.

Greenway back?

Zimmer said Thursday that he expects free-agent linebacker Chad Greenway to re-sign for the 2016 season.

"I think he will be back, yeah," Zimmer said. "I think he wants to be back and I think we'd like to have him back. But you never know."

Zimmer said that whether Greenway returns in 2016 "all comes down to money."

But the 33-year-old, who has repeatedly stated that he was hoping to get one more year with the team that drafted him in the first round in 2006, won't be asking the Vikings to break the bank.

Greenway, who agreed to pay cuts the past two offseasons to remain on the roster, was the team's third linebacker in 2015. Injuries to Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks led to him playing about 60 percent of the defensive snaps and recording 68 tackles.

"Chad was very valuable for us this year in the fact that he was going to be basically a part-time starter, playing a third of the game," Zimmer said. "Then a couple guys got hurt and he got more snaps. … I do think he can still play."

Zimmer wouldn't say if he sees Greenway as a starter or role player.

Zimmer also said that he could see cornerback Terence Newman, another veteran free agent, back with the Vikings. Newman will turn 38 in September, but Zimmer has heard "from a couple of sources" that Newman isn't ready to retire.

Smart guys

Zimmer shed a little light on how new assistant coaches Pat Shurmur and Tony Sparano will fit into the offensive meeting room with coordinator Norv Turner.

Zimmer said he didn't hire those two specifically because they have head coaching experience at the NFL level. As far as Zimmer is concerned, it was simply logical to bring in two "smart guys" to collaborate with Turner.

"It's good to get as much input as you can get because I don't believe there is one way to do this," he said. "I always think there's a better way. Somebody in this league is doing stuff better than we are and we need to find that out and how it can help us."

Zimmer said Shurmur, who will coach tight ends in 2016, will help the Vikings become more comfortable in their shotgun spread formations. And he thinks Sparano, the new offensive line coach, can make them better when quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is under center.

Safety issues

Changes are likely coming at the safety position. Both Andrew Sendejo and Robert Blanton are set to become free agents, and it sure doesn't sound as if Zimmer sees either as a suitable option to play alongside Pro Bowl free safety Harrison Smith.

"If Harrison Smith was paired with a guy that had some other qualities, we could allow Harrison to be more of an impactful player," Zimmer said.

Asked if that right kind of player is on the roster, Zimmer replied, "I don't know."

Blanton started 13 games at strong safety next to Smith in 2014. This past season, Sendejo claimed the job and started 13 games. Antone Exum and Anthony Harris also got starts at safety, but those two youngsters remain relative unknowns.