Vikings 'scouring the waiver wires' after Greg Childs has knee surgery
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MANKATO, Minn. -- Greg Childs was "distraught" after tearing both of his patellar tendons, Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday. But the rookie receiver didn't waste any time vowing to get back on the field.
"It's hard," said Frazier, who spoke with Childs shortly after the injuries occurred as he dived for a deep ball in Saturday's night practice in Blakeslee Stadium.
"But he really had a frame of mind where -- because he's experienced adversity before -- where he really feels as though he's going to be able to bounce back from this. He's going to work extremely hard and get back to play again.
"That was his attitude and those are the words he shared with me: 'Coach, I'll be back. I'm going to do just like I did before. I'm going to work as I can. I'll be back out here to help the Vikings.' I said, 'Wow.' That's a great attitude under the circumstances."
The Vikings had been hoping Childs, who was scheduled to undergo surgery on Monday, would perform well enough in training camp to earn the starting job at split end while Jerome Simpson serves his three-game suspension to start the season.
Michael Jenkins, Devin Aromashodu and Emmanuel Arceneaux also have been getting turns at the position. Stephen Burton, who mostly has been working at flanker since coming off the active/non-football injury list, could be in line for more opportunities as well.
Jenkins has the strongest track record of the group, but he isn't a matchup threat and hasn't looked explosive in camp as he comes back from his own knee surgery in November.
"We've got to see him continue to come along physically and these preseason games will be a part of that," said Frazier, who also praised Aromashodu as "much, much improved" from last season and said Burton is coming along well after missing the early part of camp with a toe injury.
Asked how limited the Vikings might be in the passing game with both Simpson and Childs unavailable, Frazier said, "Some of it depends on how well and how improved Devin is, along with some of the other guys we have at the receiver position. What's Michael's role going to be?
"But we still have Percy (Harvin). It's just a matter of solidifying that other guy outside. We think Jarius (Wright, the other rookie receiver from Arkansas) to potentially help up as well. We don't want to exclude him.
"We still think we have some options on our current roster without having to just bring a guy in for the sake of bringing a guy in. We want to bring in someone who could upgrade the position, and if that's the case, then we'll be better. But we don't want to just say, 'Let's bring in another body.'
The Vikings re-signed A.J. Love, who had been cut over the weekend, for depth after placing Childs on injury waivers on Monday.
"We'll definitely be scouring the waiver wires and taking a look at what's out there and seeing how we can upgrade our team," Frazier said. "Not to say that we're going to do anything, but we'll definitely be looking."
Childs also suffered a torn patellar tendon as a junior at the University of Arkansas in 2010 and, by his own admission, didn't feel like his old self until 18 months later.
Frazier said he was not aware of any additional ligament damage that might complicate Childs' recovery from Monday's surgery -- not that the fourth-round draft pick isn't facing a difficult comeback regardless.
"He's got a tough road ahead of him, there's no question about it," Frazier said. "When you're talking about both knees -- it's going to be hard, it's going to be tough. But part of what helps a guy make it back, if he's able to make it back from an injury like that, is approaching your rehab with a right attitude and right focus, and some of the advances that have been made medically sometimes help as well. ...
"There are going to be some tough days ahead for him. It's going to be tough."