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Bleacher Report – Vikings

When could we see Teddy Bridgewater back under center?

By Matthew Coller

Minnesota Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman told the media last week that Teddy Bridgewater would meet with his surgeon on Monday for a checkup. If he’s cleared to start practicing, it appears a matter of when – not if – he will be back under center for the Vikings this year. But the matter if when is tricky.

Once Bridgewater is lifted off the Physically Unable to Perform list, the Vikings will have three weeks to determine whether they want to activate him. FOX Sports’s Jay Glazer estimated that Bridgewater could be back playing in games in that time span. reported that Sam Bradford traveled to New York last week and had treatments that involve drawing his blood and re-injecting it into his knee over a period of days. This comes after his attempt to return against the Chicago Bears went awry and Bradford couldn’t finish the first half.

It seems like a long shot that Bradford could give it another go before the bye week. And even if Bridgewater is 100 percent, he will need time to practice in the Vikings’ offense – one he’s never operated before since Pat Shurmur took over midway through last season. So you’re very likely to see Case Keenum under center against the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns.

After that, it’s anybody’s guess.

Several Tweets from Vikings fans indicated that Mike Zimmer told FOX’s Erin Andrews that getting Bridgewater back would be like Christmas morning. No matter how his relationship has grown with Bradford, it’s always been clear that Zimmer wanted Bridgewater back.

But there’s a hurdle to get over: How will the Vikings know for sure that Bridgewater is ready to face actual NFL competition? Sugarman acknowledged that there is no way to simulate a real game – whether it’s for Bradford or Bridgewater.

There’s also the matter of the schedule. Bridgewater’s return wouldn’t be your run-of-the-mill, come-back-when-you’re-ready type of return. This is coming back from an injury so severe that there was fear of Bridgewater losing his leg. The Vikings would want to set him up for the best case scenario, even if it means asking Keenum to hang on during a likely heated race to the top of the NFC North.

Returning at home would be ideal, but after the bye, the Vikings only play one home game between November 12 and December 17. That game is November 19 against the Los Angeles Rams, who have a dangerous defense.

Thanksgiving Day might set up as the best possible date. Detroit’s defense isn’t all that frightening and Bridgewater would be able to begin preparations to start on a short week well before everyone else.

One thing you can expect is: No matter when he comes back, Bridgewater will be facing the pressure of a playoff race. With Aaron Rodgers down for the year with a collarbone injury, the Vikings are in the driver’s seat to win the division.

If Bridgewater came back and brought the Vikings to the an NFC North title, well, you couldn’t write it up much better than that.

But that scenario is a long way away. Bridgewater has to pass a physical and show in practice that he’s ready to roll. Then the Vikings can start talking about an official return date.

There is a scenario in which things get pretty hairy for Zimmer. If both Bridgewater and Bradford are healthy and ready to start, it would be difficult to decide between Bradford, who has worked for years with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and put on a show against New Orleans in Week 1, or Bridgewater, who hasn’t played since last preseason.

Though, at this point, the Vikings would probably welcome the problem of having healthy quarterbacks.

The post When could we see Teddy Bridgewater back under center? appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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