MANKATO, Minn. (WCCO) — With his wheels beneath him and younger brother Max in tow, Jack Jablonski wasn’t even on the Vikings practice field when the cameras came out.
Young girls were asking Jack if he would pose for a photograph with them. Flattering as that would seem, it wasn’t gushing high school girls he was in Mankato to see.
One by one, Vikings other players came to the sidelines to ask Jablonski, “how ‘ya doing?”
Jack responded, saying, “three days a week I’m on the treadmill walking and I was able to do some assisted crawling where I’ve been activating my hip flexors and quads.”
But it was hardly just confined to discussion about his lengthy rehabilitation. The surprising bond with punter Chris Kluwe was their fondness for playing video games.
“Do you like your Call of Duty?” Kluwe asked. Jablonski responded, “yeah, I like Call of Duty.”
By the end of morning practice, the autograph pens came out along with more questions.
“Hey Jack, how ya’ doing?” quipped wide receiver Percy Harvin.
After some light banter with Harvin, came Jack’s turn to quiz Adrian Peterson.
“How’s the knee coming along? Heard you had a good day yesterday,” Jablonski said.
Six months after seeing Jablonski in the hospital, Chad Greenway is awed at his progress.
The Vikings linebacker told Jablonski, “the entire Twin Cities is behind you and it’s so good to have you out here. You’ll probably get a bigger cheer than we will.”
The smiling Jablonski quickly shot back, “I don’t know about that!”
Clearly, this was meant to be a very well deserved day of relaxation on this young man’s daunting road to recovery.
“Seven months into the thing and I’m able to move way below my injury and what was diagnosed. So obviously, I’m hopeful and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Jablonski.
Jablonski was given a final surprise when Greenway asked him on behalf of the team to blow the ceremonial horn to start Friday night’s pre-season game against the Buffalo Bills.