CHICAGO – It appears the Vikings will have Sam Bradford back at quarterback on Monday night.
In a production meeting on Sunday night, Zimmer told ESPN’s broadcast crew he anticipates Bradford starting at quarterback, three weeks after a knee injury first kept Bradford out against the Pittsburgh Steelers. A second opinion on the quarterback’s left knee on Sept. 22 confirmed the Vikings’ belief that Bradford would not need surgery on his knee, and after taking last week off to rest, Bradford participated in all three of the Vikings’ practices this week (albeit in a limited fashion).
Asked on Saturday about his level of confidence Bradford could play, Zimmer said, “We’ll see.” Asked if he was more confident than he’d been at the beginning of the week, Zimmer said, “No, not really.”
Bradford has played just one game this season, completing 27 of his 32 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings’ season-opening win over the Saints. He was named NFC offensive player of the week after the victory, but was unable to play the following week against the Steelers after aggravating his twice-surgically-repaired knee against the Saints.
His return comes at a time where the Vikings’ overall health at quarterback might be improving in another area. The team can bring Teddy Bridgewater back to practice after six weeks on the physically-unable-to-perform list, and multiple sources said the Vikings’ plan has been to clear Bridgewater for practice shortly after Week 6 game against, provided he has no setbacks. Bridgewater, who dislocated his left knee and tore his ACL last Aug. 30, has been making solid progress in his rehab from the injury and has steadily increased his workload in hopes of a return.
Once the Vikings clear Bridgewater to practice, they would have three weeks to decide whether to put him on their active roster or keep him on the PUP list for the remainder of the season.