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Teddy Bridgewater: I believe I'll play this season

More than a year after crumbling to the ground with a horrible knee injury, the Vikings quarterback returned to practice Wednesday in victorious fashion.

"Didn't feel rusty at all," Bridgewater said Thursday, per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

Asked about his confidence level playing on the rehabbed knee, the fourth-year passer told scribes: "I'm very confident. I wouldn't go out on that practice field if I wasn't."

The Vikings now sit within a three-week window to either activate Bridgewater or place him on the PUP list for the rest of the season.

"I definitely believe I'll play this year," Bridgewater declared, saying: "It's going to take some grit. That's just the mindset."

The 24-year-old signal-caller went out of his way to credit teammates for sticking by him during a grueling 14-month rehab that happened far away from the bright lights of the NFL.

"I hope that my story can motivate someone," Bridgewater said. "The future is bright."

That's especially true for the Vikings, who wondered if their one-time starter would ever play again. Minnesota has gotten by with Sam Bradford and Case Keenum manning the position, but a fully healthy Bridgewater would give the club incredible depth at the position.

Alive and kicking in the NFC North, the Vikings will now monitor Bridgewater's status and decide if, and when, to put him back in the lineup.

During a decidedly unusual NFL campaign, this is a storyline worth cheering for no matter where your loyalties lie.

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