Only time will tell if the 2016 season will be Chad Greenway's final one with the Vikings.
But the 11-season linebacker will certainly soak in the sights and sounds of the 2016 season either way, as Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune chatted with Greenway about a variety of topics, including his memories in Mankato and his love for his family.
Vensel encapsulated the Vikings Saturday night practice in which Greenway hung around to watch fireworks with his wife, Jenni, and three daughters — Maddyn, Beckett and Blakely.
"You have to take these moments in. You get a chance to take a picture, and those are things you look back on in 20 years and talk about and enjoy the memory," Greenway said a couple of days later. "Throughout this entire year, I want to just take it in and enjoy it. But it's much more enjoyable when you're winning and putting your best foot forward on the field."
Vensel also wrote about Greenway's love for being a father and family man, something the linebacker said makes it tougher and tougher to go to camp each season.
If this really is it for Greenway, he also will miss the wings at Tav on the Ave and the thousands of die-hard fans who spice up the monotonous practices in Mankato every year. He will not miss the now-imploded Gage Residence Hall and its lack of central air conditioning or the few nights when a pulled fire alarm disrupted his slumber or the physical toll of padded practices.
But for Greenway, the worst part of camp always has been being away from Jennifer and his girls, though they often have been spotted this year on the sidelines wearing T-shirts with "Daddy" and his number 52 on the back.
"Our household is much different now, but my priorities have always been aligned with family coming first and football coming second," Greenway told Vensel. "I've always been a big proponent of football being not who I am, but what I do."
Vikings host Jablonski at training camp practice
The Vikings had a special guest at Monday's training camp practice in Jack Jablonski, a Minnesota native who suffered a spinal cord injury while playing hockey in 2011.
Jablonski is a quadriplegic but hopes to walk again one day. Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press caught up with the current University of Southern California student at Monday practice.
Jablonski said a handful of Vikings have been a big help on his road to recovery.
*Jablonski, 20, will return this fall to USC, where he will be a second-semester sophomore. He has developed a close relationship with running back Adrian Peterson, linebacker Chad Greenway and tackle Matt Kalil, and regularly has been invited by the Vikings to training camp. *
"Adrian's been very influential, and we have something in common. He had his surgery the day I got injured," Jablonski told Tomasson, referring to Dec. 30, 2011, when Peterson had surgery to repair a serious knee injury suffered six days earlier. "He's been very inspirational ... (He tells me), 'Never give up.' That's the biggest thing.
"What's happened to me has not been easy. Without (Peterson's) support, and without the support around the hockey community, really everybody around Minnesota and the world itself, hearing from people like (Peterson) makes it a lot easier to obviously never give up and always to battle through. I know that he's always there if I need help."