Notebook: Greg Childs, Michael Mauti inch closer to rejoining Vikings
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Greg Childs and Michael Mauti took another small step towards returning to action on Tuesday, taking some reps alongside their teammates in individual drills during the first practice of the Minnesota Vikings' mandatory minicamp.
"It feels great," Mauti said, "just to kind of give the coaches something to see -- that hey, I'm not just standing around and I can contribute this season. I feel great, just doing what I'm doing, and just to kind of be running around with the guys and going through the reps, it feels real good."
Mauti, a seventh-round draft pick (213th overall) in April out of Penn State, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Nov. 17 -- the third torn ACL he'd suffered in four years and second in about 14 months to the same knee.
Childs, a fourth-round draft pick (134th) last year out of Arkansas, missed his rookie season after an Aug. 4 dive in training camp left him with ruptured patellar tendons in both his knees -- an injury he suffered in one of his knees in 2010.
Both players have been noncommittal about a timetable for their returns, deferring to the Vikings' medical staff. And both could be candidates to open camp on the active/physically unable to perform list, from which they could be activated at any time.
"For that player to be able to get integrated with his teammates," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said, "whether it be individual like we did (on Tuesday) with Greg Childs, and being able to be a part of some of those group settings, it kind of helps their confidence to know where they are (and) how far they have to go to get to where they want to be eventually."
Linebacker Chad Greenway, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee last week, confirmed he should be ready for training camp.
"There will be no doubt in my mind unless I get in a car accident or something," said Greenway, who watched Tuesday's practice with a wrap on the knee. "From the knee perspective, it'll be 100 percent, good to go."
Greenway had the scope on Wednesday to repair some residual fraying of the meniscus, which had bothered him during organized team activity practices. He hasn't missed a game since a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the same knee wiped out his rookie season in 2006.
According to Greenway, the injuries aren't related -- it probably had to do with the roughly 7,000 snaps he has played in between surgeries.
"I didn't want to be that guy in training camp or Week 1 saying, 'Oh, I've got to miss two (games),'" Greenway said. "That's not my mentality. I'd rather, unfortunately, miss these practices in order to get ready for the season. Just kind of felt like it was the right thing to do."
Others not participating in Tuesday's practice included: end Jared Allen (shoulder/knee), center John Sullivan (knee), cornerbacks Jacob Lacey (thumb) and Greg McCoy (hamstring) and linebacker Nathan Williams (ankle).
Frazier continued to speak with cautious optimism about Sullivan, who underwent microfracture surgery in January.
"From what I've been told, there should not be any restrictions (at the start of training camp)," Frazier said, "but we'll see."
Williams wore a walking boot on his left ankle, which was repaired last week.
Part of the process
Even though Rhodes, a first-round draft pick, is defending against former Florida State teammate Christian Ponder in practice again, he said he'll know he's not in college anymore once the pads pop on in late July.
Rhodes, who turns 23 on Wednesday, has lived in Minnesota since his first-round selection in April and said transitioning to the pros with fellow draftees like Patterson helps ease the process.
"It's been great, on the field I can say it's been good," Rhodes said. "The players have treated me good. Everybody took me in and showed me the ropes. Patterson coming in as a freshman, I mean rookie, doing what he's doing. Greg Jennings, a veteran who knows what he's doing, also helps me out."
Joe Webb said he's helping more than himself with his transition from quarterback to receiver.
"They come to me, especially the young bucks," Webb said. "I try to work with all the guys, give them all my knowledge from quarterbacking, coverage, holes in the defense, stuff like that."
Webb, who played quarterback for his first three seasons with the Vikings, said he has taken Patterson under his wing -- making sure to point out defensive looks to him while they're not in the play.
"I've been helping Cordarrelle out a lot, especially with the offense," Webb said. "Keeping him updated on what defenses like to do against certain routes."
Webb had his first drop in front of reporters on a comeback route in 7-on-7.
• Third-string QB McLeod Bethel Thompson led the only successful 2-minute drive in a sequence of possessions from the offense's 25-yard line with 1:20 on the clock. Bethel-Thompson completed all six of his non-spike passes, including a 30-yard gain on a deep in-cut to WR Adam Thielen that helped set up PK Blair Walsh's 41-yard field goal.
• QB Christian Ponder finished 14-of-20 in team drills, with an interception to CB Josh Robinson on an underthrown ball for TE John Carlson. Backup QB Matt Cassel was 10-of-21, Bethel-Thompson 8-of-9 and rookie QB James Vandenberg 1-of-2.
• Walsh was 7-of-8 on field goals from between 36 and 50 yards in an early team setting, missing wide left from 42. He also hit a 46-yard field goal from the right hash in a run-on situation
• Members of the Vikings ownership group, including Mark and Leonard Wilf, attended practice.