The Minnesota Vikings quarterback is nearing a full return to the field just 15 months after suffering what looked at the time to be a devastating career-ending knee injury. Now with Minnesota leading the NFC North at 6-2, thanks to heroic understudy work from Case Keenum, the Vikes are preparing to welcome their former franchise quarterback back into the fold.
When asked Tuesday whether he was ready to move Bridgwater off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, Vikings skipper Mike Zimmer said, "I'm prepared. We'll take it one day at a time, though, and see. We've still got a few more days to figure it out."
Bridgewater returned to practice on Oct. 18. The team has three weeks (21 days) to move him to the roster, meaning Minnesota has one week from Wednesday to make the decision. (Math.)
Zimmer clarified to the Minneapolis media that, when he activates Teddy, the QB is not necessarily guaranteed to start right away.
"When I said that, it was more about the decision to activate Teddy. It wasn't about the decision of who to play," Zimmer said, referring to comments made Sunday regarding a "decision to make" at quarterback. "I haven't decided that yet. We'll continue to take it one day at a time. Just see where he is at, where the team is at, how Case is doing. The whole deal."
In other words: We're taking our sweet time. And Minnesota has the luxury to do so.
Last season, Sam Bradford was a brilliant last-second replacement and put together one of the most efficient seasons in the league. After suffering an injury in Week 1, Bradford gave way to the journeyman Keenum, who, even with the absence of star rookie runner Dalvin Cook, has sailed the Vikings smoothly through an early-season gauntlet. The sixth-year QB is putting up career-high in completion percentage (63.9), passer rating (88.8) and sack percentage (2.1). Plus, with Keenum under center, Adam Thielen is playing outside his mind, tallying 48 recpetions (fourth in league) and 628 receiving yards (second).
It's finally a perfect storm for Minnesota, who through another lens has been one of the most snakebit franchises since the infamous Blair Walsh wild-card miss in early 2016. But with Keenum's consistency and the slow return of Teddy, maybe, just maybe, the tides are turning.