Special teams ace, LB Jason Glenn retires from Vikings

MANKATO, Minn. -- Just as his coaches and teammates knew he would, Jason Glenn gave it everything he had as he tried to get ready for a seventh NFL season.

His aching knees just wouldn't let it happen. The Minnesota Vikings linebacker and special teams standout, one of the most well-liked players on the team, officially retired on Tuesday, coach Brad Childress said.

"He was a great guy to have in our locker room," Childress said. "I'll miss him."

Glenn appeared in nine games with the Vikings last season, spent the first five years of his career with the New York Jets and also played one season in Miami.

Glenn tore an ACL last season and was still experiencing soreness through the first two weeks of training camp. He addressed the team on Monday night in what players called an emotional meeting.

"I was pretty saddened by it," fellow linebacker Ben Leber said. "He is a great guy, a great friend and was great in the locker room. But I think retirement should be something you congratulate the person. He played seven years and played the way the game is supposed to be played."

Childress spoke glowingly of Glenn's leadership, work ethic and determination. Glenn was a sixth-round pick of the Lions in 2001 out of Texas A&M, but was waived and signed as a free agent with the Jets.

"He made the most of his opportunities," Leber said. "He was a guy that always worked hard. He played twice as long as most guys do."

Childress said he would consider bringing Glenn back midseason if Glenn's knees feel better. If not, a role on the player development side of the team could be the next step on his football path.

"He was the first guy to help the young linebackers, including myself," Heath Farwell said. Ultimately, Childress said, his balky knees and the recent death of his niece in Texas led Glenn to make the decision. "In the long run, it was just too much to overcome," Childress said. "His knees just wouldn't let him function like his body has to."

GLENN'S REPLACEMENTS: Childress brought in a pair of linebackers on Tuesday to bolster the depth following Glenn's retirement.

George Hall, an undrafted rookie from Purdue who spent six weeks with the team this summer, took over Glenn's No. 55 jersey number.

Cameron Siskowic, a free agent who was waived by the Cincinnati Bengals at the beginning of the month, also was signed. Siskowic was a Division I-AA First Team All American at Illinois State last season.

Childress also said that the team has reached an injury settlement with running back Wendell Mathis, who was bothered by a recurring back injury.

EVANS IN, JAMES MAYBE NOT: Childress said recently signed defensive tackle Fred Evans will play in the Vikings' next exhibition game on Friday night against the New York Jets.

The 6-foot-4, 305-pound Evans was signed on Sunday to provide depth on the defensive line behind Kevin Williams and Pat Williams.

"The big think for him is to understand all the little calls and how you fit in a scheme," Childress said. "That's the stuff that he's missed."

Another defensive lineman may not get any playing time against the Jets. End Erasmus James came off the physically unable to perform list on Sunday and is working to get his left knee back in shape.

The former first-round draft pick has practiced the last two days, but Childress said James is experiencing some body soreness that is common among players who have been out for an extended period of time.

James hasn't played since injuring his knee in Week 2 last season, and Childress seemed to be leaning toward being cautious with him this week.

"I'm not going to say that, after one week of practice, we'll put him out there," Childress said.

QUICK HITS: OG Adam O'Connor has a partially dislocated knee cap and will get a second opinion before making a decision on how to treat it. Childress said he could miss two to three weeks. ... Backup QB Brooks Bollinger was the holder on field goal tries on Tuesday morning, a backup plan in case current holder Chris Kluwe gets hurt. Kicker Ryan Longwell pulled a Ray Finkle and shanked one try badly because Bollinger didn't get the laces out. ... CB Chad Johnson has missed the last two practices to go to Louisiana to tend to his ill mother, but is expected to return this week.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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