MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway, who missed the team's last game of the year with a knee injury he sustained on Dec. 21 in Miami, said on Tuesday the injury was a strained MCL. As with most MCL injuries, though, Greenway didn't need surgery, and said he's gotten back to some offseason workouts without any trouble.
Greenway had said after the game he felt a "pop" in his knee, and he wasn't able to participate in practice the next week before the team's season finale against the Chicago Bears. Appearing on KFAN-FM with Vikings play-by-play announcer Paul Allen on Tuesday morning, Greenway confirmed it was to his MCL. And in a phone interview on Tuesday afternoon, he said he's "completely healthy."
"I'm just getting back into working out, starting back on my lower body," he said. "It feels good. I'd been taking some time off, but I have been testing it a little bit."
The 32-year-old linebacker said he hasn't done much running yet, but added that wasn't because of his knee. As most players are, Greenway is in the early stages of his offseason workout program.
Greenway restructured his 2014 contract, giving back $1 million in exchange for a guarantee of $5.5 million on his base salary. It's widely expected the Vikings will ask him to restructure the final year of his deal, which calls for him to make $7.1 million and count $8.8 million against the cap. But the Vikings haven't approached Greenway or his agent, Marvin Demoff, about redoing his deal yet, he said.
The linebacker said at the end of the season he was open to reworking his deal if it helped keep him in Minnesota for the final year of his contract, and Greenway reiterated on Tuesday that he's still willing to do that. But for the moment, he said, "We're still under contract. We'll just see what they say."
Greenway played in the Dolphins game two days after his father, Alan, died following a 2 1/2-year battle with leukemia. A month after Alan Greenway's death, his mother, Janice, died suddenly at age 79 in Mitchell, South Dakota. "Her heart just stopped," Chad Greenway said of his grandmother.
The former Pro Bowler missed four games in 2014, snapping a 90-game starting streak and ending the season on the sideline. That, coupled with the losses of his father and grandmother, has made the past five months one of the toughest stretches in Greenway's life. As the linebacker said on KFAN, "For the first time in my career, I was happy the year was over."
He's hoping for another chance to suit up with the Vikings and play out the final year of his contract. Coach Mike Zimmer, who praised Greenway's leadership at the end of the season, said Greenway can still be an effective starter at age 32. And considering the fact that Greenway appears willing to work with the Vikings on his contract, it's possible he'll get that chance.
As reporters, we're not in the business of rooting for the teams we cover. That said, it's easy to want good things for certain players, and Greenway -- a tireless worker who's deeply involved in the community, helpful to his teammates and approachable to reporters -- is one of those players. He's hoping to get another season with the team that drafted him in 2006, but he's played long enough to know the Vikings will make their decision irrespective of any attachments they might have to Greenway. They need to figure out their future at a couple of linebacker spots, and Gerald Hodges played well enough to push for a full-time starting spot in 2015. But after a trying year in 2014, it'd be nice to see Greenway get one more year with the team that drafted him.