Although unconfirmed and still very early, it appears as though Minnesota Vikings rookie Greg Childs is done for the year and perhaps longer.
Currently ranked at #31 on DLF’s rooking rankings, Childs has been steadily gaining value as camp unfolded, largely believed to be well on his way toward locking up the WR3 role on an offense in dire need of another play-making receiver. At 6’3″ and 219 pounds and with large hands, Childs had been displaying impressive route running and separation skills while catching most everything in sight in OTAs and camp.
After tearing his right patellar tendon in 2010, an injury that significantly impacted his draft stock, Childs worked hard to recover and was able to return to Arkansas in 2011, posting 21 receptions for 240 yards. Despite the injury and lengthy recovery period, Childs then went on to run a 4.55 forty and jump 36.5 inches at the NFL combine. Further proving that his recovery was complete, at Arkansas’ Pro Day, Childs lit up the track by running an official 4.41 forty and jumping out of the building, notching a 41.5 inch vertical leap. He was well on his way to repairing his injured draft stock.
On Saturday, Childs got tangled up with a defensive back and came down awkwardly and fell to the field in obvious pain. Initially the hope was that the rookie hadn’t redamaged his right knee. As news continues to emerge, it is initially feared that Childs may not only have redamaged his right patellar tendon, but potentially his left one as well. Should this be the case, the odds of Childs playing again are low. Players have returned from mutliple patellar injuries in the past. Cadillac Williams did so after tearing his right tendon in 2007 followed by his left in 2008. A devastating injury the first time, a second tear to the same knee is likely a career-ender.
If the injury is confirmed, Jerome Simpson’s role, following his three game suspension, becomes more significant and both Michael Jenkins and Devin Aromashodu, whom the Vikings appeared to be ready to move on from, will likely retain their roster spots. Current WR1, Percy Harvin’s value remains unchanged. The camp battle between Jarius Wright and Stephen Burton for the final receiver spot gets more intense and more interesting yet likely doesn’t have any 2012 fantasy significance.
We need to reiterate that nothing has yet been confirmed by the Vikings’ organization other than Childs’ injury appears to be serious. The analysis here is simply that, during this time of year when drafts are occurring, it is in your best interest to not draft Childs until the nature of his injury is confirmed.
Until that time, we all wish Greg Childs the best and let’s hold out hope that the young rookie with a great work ethic can recover quickly and get back to his dream of playing in the NFL.