Every summer as training camps open, we know it’s only a matter of time until injuries start making a mess of a team’s plans. With a full slate of exhibition games this week, you can rest assured some major names will be making headlines with news no one wants to hear.
That was certainly the case this past weekend when Vikings rookie wide receiver Greg Childs crumpled to the ground with what turned out to be torn patellar tendons in both knees. Childs is no stranger to the injury: He tore the patellar tendon in one of his knees during his junior season at Arkansas, and it resulted in him lasting until the fourth round of this year’s draft.
Now, Childs is in rare company. Chicago Bears wide receiver Wendell Davis did it to both knees in 1993. Cleveland Browns cornerback Gary Baxter did it in 2006. Both Davis and Baxter never played another game although Baxter did make it to training camp the following summer.
Baxter said he plans to visit Childs, just as Davis did for him. Said Baxter to the Pioneer Press, “Wendell Davis visited me in the hospital, and I’m going to do the same for Greg. I want to offer him encouragement, because there aren’t too many people who understand what he’s going through.” Baxter did say that Childs will experience “extreme, extreme, extreme pain,” although Childs probably knows that from his first injury. Baxter also said, “It’s not something that can’t be overcome. I was told I’d never walk again, and I saw the field again. I was determined to prove (doctors) wrong on multiple levels. He’s going to have to really bust it in rehab. And he’s going to have to have nothing but positivity around him, a positive spirit and the right attitude. It sounds like he’s a strong guy and wants to do those things.”
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier talked to Childs after he had surgery Monday and related, “He was distraught, as you would expect. It’s hard. But he really had a frame of mind … where he really feels he’s going to be able to bounce back from this. That was his attitude and the words that he shared with me. ‘Coach, I’ll be back. I’ll do just like I did before … I’ll be back to help the Vikings.’”
Are Seahawks Desperate?
Seattle seems to be trying to collect receivers. Since training camp started, the Seahawks have signed Braylon Edwards, Antonio Bryant and now Terrell Owens. Bryant was released after lasting a few days.
Coach Pete Carroll said Owens is motivated to play well.
“It’s interesting now how he is,” Carroll said. “He’s extremely hungry, and he is humble. And he’s determined to finish his career on a good note. And he wants to be part of the team, and he wants to play football.”
Reid to Coach?
Eagles coach Andy Reid will likely return to the sideline Thursday for the preseason opener against the Steelers two days after the funeral of his eldest son, Garrett Reid.
It was a somber day in suburban Philadelphia Tuesday as Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, commissioner Roger Goodell, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt, Browns vice president Mike Holmgren, Browns general manager Tom Heckert, Browns head coach Pat Shurmur and Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress, former 49ers and Lions head coach Steve Mariucci, Ravens coach John Harbaugh and several former and the current Eagles players attended the funeral along with approximately 900 others.
Lurie had said Sunday that he wouldn’t be surprised if Reid came back to the team’s training camp by the end of the week. But indications from Reid and Lurie Tuesday were that he’d be back coaching the team for the first game of the preseason Thursday in Philadelphia.
“We’ll see,” Lurie said. “But all indications are, he probably will be (coaching Thursday). I think what you’ll see from Andy is that desire to be around another loving extended family.”
*Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins might not be ready to play until the season opener because of a shoulder injury that has kept him from practicing for all of training camp. “The opener is what we are looking at but I don’t know,” Jenkins said. Dr. James Andrews did surgery on Jenkins in the offseason, and Jenkins will see Andrews at some point in the days ahead. Said coach Jason Garrett, “The timetable they have given him is at least a couple more weeks before he goes back to see Dr. Andrews again. So the big thing for Jenks is to continue to get his rehab done, continue to get his conditioning done and try to inch the process along as quickly as he can and, hopefully, Dr. Andrews will clear him to come out to practice and he will be a big part of what we are doing.”
*Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks caught passes and ran routes Tuesday under the supervision of the team’s training staff. Nicks is recovering from a broken foot suffered in the offseason. Said Nicks, “I’m excited about running some routes today and getting to see where I’m at. It’s going to be exciting for me just to see where I’m at.”
*Fullback Kareem Huggins recently lasted one day after being signed by the Patriots. When asked what happened, coach Bill Belichick said, “It obviously never really got off the ground there. Before we put him on the field, we didn’t feel like we could put him on the field.” What Belichick didn’t say was that Huggins failed his physical.
*Carolina tackle Jordan Gross on rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly: “He’s been as advertised. He’s got a nose for the ball and he throws his body around, and that’s what you want out of a linebacker. One thing that stands out is that when he blitzes, he rushes the passer, he doesn’t just blitz and stop if a lineman picks him up. He’s got moves, and his effort is good. If you get your hands on him, he wants to get off there and make a play. He doesn’t really act like a rookie at all.”
*Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden on being named the team’s starter: “I’m excited about it. I’ve busted my tail for 10 practices now, and I’ve really put in a lot of work, a lot of studying. I’ve had some ups, had some downs, but I think I’ve come a long way. Hearing the news is obviously exciting, but my preparations aren’t going to change. I’m going to go about it the same way I’ve been going about it, and continue to get better as a player, continue to be a leader on this football team. We play Friday, that’s the matter of fact. My job is to get this team better to start winning games on Friday.”