Zimmer: ‘Yes’ Bridgewater is prepared, however he’ll backup Keenum at Washington


Teddy Bridgewater’s separated left knee opened the door for Sam Bradford’s arrival in Minnesota 14 months in the past. But on Wednesday, it was Bridgewater taking snaps for the Vikings whereas Bradford was positioned on injured reserve as he recovers from arthroscopic knee surgical procedure.

Activated to the 53-man roster, Bridgewater has taken Bradford’s place on the roster. Caution has dictated each step alongside the best way for Bridgewater, who tore a number of ligaments and dislocated his knee final summer season, and his return to the sphere might be no totally different.

So he enters Sunday’s sport in Washington because the backup to starter Case Keenum.

Asked if Bridgewater is able to play, coach Mike Zimmer’s response was direct: “Yes.”

Less sure is the well being and long-term outlook of Bradford, who will develop into a free agent in March. Zimmer mentioned the problem with Bradford’s left knee joint is just not bone-on-bone, so there have been “a lot of good things” discovered throughout’s Tuesday’s process by Dr. James Andrews. Still, neither the Vikings nor Bradford know when he’ll be wholesome sufficient to play once more — or if it’ll be for the Vikings.

“I don’t know,” Zimmer mentioned. “I have an outstanding relationship with Sam. He is a great person, heck of a quarterback. We don’t know where he’s at with his knee. I haven’t talked to him about anything next year. We’re just thinking about this year.”

Bradford has to sit down out a minimal of eight weeks and might technically return for the playoffs, nevertheless the Vikings are usually not planning on it. That places Bridgewater one snap away from enjoying, simply over a 12 months since they despatched a 2017 first-round decide and 2018 fourth-round decide to Philadelphia for Bradford. So with a Keenum-Bridgewater pecking order, the Vikings will possible deactivate quarterback Kyle Sloter in Washington, says Zimmer.

The Vikings, 5-2 underneath Keenum and 6-2 total, aren’t but prepared to start out Bridgewater.

“We’ve done it week-by-week the last couple weeks and it’s seemed to work OK,” Keenum mentioned. “If I can keep my mindset the same and stay consistent in how I prepare [and] if I cannot read your guys’ stories and stay off different things, then I’m good.”

Bradford can’t say the identical.

His season derailed throughout one of the best sport of his profession in Week 1 vs. New Orleans. when he handed for 346 yards and was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week. He twisted his knee someday in that sport, aggravating his knee joint. The Vikings maintained that they didn’t know Bradford’s damage was long-term. Zimmer conceded that “it just didn’t get better.”

After 5 restricted practices, Bradford paid one other go to to Andrews in Florida on Sept. 22. Then 17 days later, after two restricted practices and one full observe, the Vikings began Bradford in Chicago the place he regarded uncomfortable and, finally, unfit to play and was pulled.

Bradford made extra journeys for extra therapies in current weeks to no avail.

“[The injury] was just lingering,” Zimmer mentioned. “We thought it was going to be a one-week deal, then it was two, then it was three and then it was eight. Nothing else was working. We had to try something.”

Bradford’s common season, and probably his time in Minnesota, might now be over.

With three quarterbacks — Bradford, Bridgewater and Keenum — set to be free brokers in 2018, the scenario long-term stays tenuous. The Vikings, main the NFC North with Keenum on the helm of the offense and a protection dominating opponents, are centered on the now.

Bridgewater is badimilating into an offense that has modified drastically since he final took an NFL sport snap for the Vikings. He’s been restricted to a handful of 11-on-11 snaps throughout practices to get timing down with teammates on performs put in underneath coordinator Pat Shurmur.

Bridgewater opened Wednesday’s observe by taking snaps from the Vikings beginning middle, Pat Elflein, throughout quarterback drills. A quarterback’s rhythm begins with the middle, who must be aware of Bridgewater’s barks in his cadence. So Elflein is the primary lineman who wants to regulate.

“Teddy’s got a good hard count,” Elflein mentioned Wednesday. “Real loud and distinct. He’s tricky, but he gets guys offsides.”

A supportive brace wraps round Bridgewater’s left knee joint throughout practices, serving as a reminder about how far Bridgewater has come since he suffered a dislocated kee and tore a number of ligaments throughout a routine dropback final summer season. He nonetheless has progress to make earlier than the Vikings begin him once more.

“He hasn’t had training camp. He hasn’t done anything,” Zimmer mentioned. “We’re just trying to get him to where everybody feels comfortable with him.”


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