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Updated: November 20th, 2013 4:14pm
After nearly 16 months of rehab, Greg Childs returns to practice

After nearly 16 months of rehab, Greg Childs returns to practice

by Andrew Krammer
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Minnesota Vikings receiver Greg Childs has been cautious about placing a timetable on his return from tearing patellar tendons in both knees.

After what has almost been 16 months of rehab since the Aug. 4, 2012 injury, Childs returned to practice Wednesday at Winter Park and was confident he'll see the playing field soon.

"I'm going to eventually get on the playing field. I don't know when. It could be by the end of the season or it could be the beginning of the next," Childs said. "But it's going to be one of the two."

Childs, 23, showed off his progress on Wednesday as he ran drills in the open media portion of practice with his teammates. Jumping, cutting and sprinting, Childs ran through a bevy of routes with the receiving corps and didn't appear to suffer any setbacks in his first practice.

"We'll kind of ease him into it a little bit," Coach Leslie Frazier said. "We won't give him a full practice -- just give him a taste of it and find out where he is tomorrow."

The clock started on Monday for the Vikings, who have 21 days to decide to upgrade Childs to the 53-man roster, put him on the practice squad or cut him. They can activate him for this Sunday's game at the Green Bay Packers if they wanted to, but ultimately must decide by Dec. 9.

Childs has spent all season on the physically unable to perform list, where he also spent all of this offseason's training camp. Before Wednesday, Childs was limited to rookie minicamps and OTAs to participate with teammates in practice. 

"Basically I start with just practicing every day, doing more in practice every single day. Never going back but just keep on adding more and more to my plate," Childs said.

He suffered the same injury in his right knee in October 2010 at the University of Arkansas, which may have helped contribute to his slide to the Vikings in the fourth round (134th overall) in the 2012 draft.

Childs also rejoined fellow Vikings receiver and friend Jarius Wright on the field. The pair attended the same high school in small-town Arkansas and both were drafted by the Vikings in 2012 out of the red Razorbacks uniforms.

"Just old-time fun, just do what we do. I still live down the hallway from him," Childs said. "We leave here I might go to my place a little while and we might hook up, play 2K, just kick it and talk. Hasn't much changed. We're still the same way we were from high school."

The long-awaited return of Childs to the practice field came just days after Wright recorded his first multi-touchdown game, grabbing two scores in the loss at Seattle on Sunday.

Childs hasn't even played in a NFL preseason game, but wasn't hesitant in his confidence that he'll catch up to Wright. 

"I plan to do it," Childs said.

Andrew Krammer covers the Minnesota Vikings for 1500ESPN.com. He previously covered the Gophers men's basketball team for the Minnesota Daily.
Email Andrew | @andrew_krammer
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