Vikings

Teddy Bridgewater Progressing, But Not Cleared For Practice (Plus OTA Notes)

(photo credit: Brian Curski, Cumulus Media)

Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman dampened some of the hype over the team’s Twitter video featuring Teddy Bridgewater that was posted Tuesday afternoon.

The 39-second video showed Bridgewater, who has been rehabbing from a dislocated knee, dropping back and throwing alongside the team’s other quarterbacks.

According to Spielman, Bridgewater is still going through rehab protocol and is not cleared yet to fully practice. The quarterback was absent from Wednesday morning’s practice at a previously schedule appointment.

“We wanted to at least put something out there to show that this is part of his rehab and part of his rehab program,” Spielman said of the video.

The footage excited Vikings fans on social media, but it appears like Bridgewater still has work to do if he’s going to work his way into the conversation as the team’s quarterback this year. Spielman refused to elaborate on Bridgewater’s timetable going forward or what the next steps are in his rehab, though he mentioned that the former first-round pick was “very limited” in what he is able to do.

“You almost have to hold Teddy back because he’s so diligent in what he’s trying to accomplish,” said Spielman.

The Vikings recently declined Bridgwater’s fifth-year option, though there is speculation the team could toll his contract and get an extra year on his rookie deal if he spends the first six weeks of the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Ironically, if Bridgewater were close to returning to health, a stint on the P.U.P. would become more unlikely, meaning Bridgewater could be entering the final year of his contract.

While the video sparked quite a reaction, it doesn’t seem to have shed much more light on Bridgewater’s status, especially since fans had already seen him throwing passes on social media as early as March. The video on Tuesday merely added a jersey and dramatic music.

Signs are still positive, but Bridgewater’s official return doesn’t seem imminent quite yet.

“Teddy’s a tough son of a gun,” said offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, “and Teddy’s fighting his way back.”

OTAs QUICK HITTERS

  • In addition to Bridgewater, three other Vikings did not participate in Wednesday’s practice. Latavius Murray was present but is still wearing a boot after ankle surgery. Emmanuel Lamur was also present but did not practice, and Sharrif Floyd was not spotted as he continues to rehab from an apparent nerve issue that has followed him since undergoing knee surgery last year.
  • Nick Easton did the majority of the work at center with the first unit, though Pat Elflein occasionally rotated in. While playing with the second team, Elflein sailed a shotgun snap over the quarterback’s head. The first-team tackles were Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers with Alex Boone and Joe Berger playing guard.
  • It was a good day for pass catchers as Laquon Treadwell, Adam Thielen and Jerick McKinnon all made great catches. Treadwell’s was especially impressive as he caught a jump ball over Xavier Rhodes on a deep pass from Sam Bradford. Many of the passing plays attempted to get running backs McKinnon and Dalvin Cook out in space in the passing game, which could be a sign of things to come without Adrian Peterson in the mix this season.
  • Tre Roberson, Kentrell Brothers and Xavier Rhodes all had interceptions on the day — Roberson’s probably the best of the bunch.
  • Mackensie Alexander played the majority of the first-team reps at slot corner.
  • Antone Exum Jr. limped off the field early in practice and did not return.
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(photo credit: Brian Curski, Cumulus Media)

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