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Bridgewater update: Vikings staff encouraged by look at rehabbing quarterback

TEDDY_BRIDGEWATER

PHOENIX — How is Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s recovery from a devastating knee injury coming along? This might be a clue: GM Rick Spielman is making a surprising link between  Bridgewater’s recovery work and that of former Viking Adrian Peterson during his now legendary comeback.

Spielman, at the NFL owners’ meetings, said he watched quarterback Bridgewater last week and was impressed with what he saw.

“I know he’s been working extremely hard. As far as a timeline, I know he was in last week and continuing to rehab with our medical staff and [head athletic trainer] Eric Sugarman,” Spielman said. “I can tell you there is no one I’ve seen other than Adrian [Peterson] when he came back from his ACL that has worked as hard as Teddy is working. And this is more significant than just an ACL.

“But Teddy is incredible with the attitude and work ethic that he’s put in to get back on the field as quickly as we can.”

Bridgewater posted a video on Instagram of him making a pass while moving around with a heavily protected left knee.

Bridgewater has not conducted any interviews since he went down in a preseason practice last August with a complete ACL tear and other damage.

The Vikings made a trade for Sam Bradford and with no timetable set for Bridgewater’s return, the team could consider either drafting a security quarterback or signing a veteran in free agency. How they proceed obviously depends heavily on Bridgewater’s status over the coming months.

For now, they are pleased with the determination Bridgewater is showing in his rehab process. Coach Mike Zimmer, speaking on Sirius XM NFL Radio, praised the work the young QB has put in.

“The big thing for Teddy is,  he’s got to keep progressing to where he’s going,” Zimmer told Alex Marvez of Sirius XM. “He’s doing a great job in rehab. He was in last week doing a good job. These guys will get him back and get him ready to go.

“I honestly don’t know when; no one really knows. … We’re anticipating getting him back at some point, we just don’t know when.”

Zimmer added that Bridgewater is running in the pool and doing other non-weight bearing training.

That work is in the hands of the Vikings’ trainers. In the meantime, Zimmer is preparing for an even better year from Bradford after a full offseason. He’ll also get help from what should be a stronger offensive line and a running back in Latavius Murray who is multi-faceted.

Mark Wilf: 'We want our face of the franchise to be a Lombardi Trophy'

Vikings owner Mark Wilf said ownership spoke to Adrian Peterson on the phone “a couple of times” following his release and in person after the 2016 season.

“It’s all good there with Adrian,” Wilf said today during a break in the annual league meetings at the Arizona Biltmore hotel in Phoenix. “A lot of good memories, and I know he’s got a lot of great football left in him. He’s brought us and our fans a lot of thrills over the years.”

Peterson became a free agent when the Vikings opted not to pick up the $6 million option on the final year of a contract that would have paid Peterson $18 million this season. Peterson remains a free agent.

“Adrian is one of the greatest Vikings of all-time,” Wilf said. “We have a lot of respect for him. The day we drafted him to today, he’s really one of the greatest Vikings of all-time. We have a lot of respect for him and we know he’ll always be a part of the Minnesota Vikings family. And he knows that. We’ve told him that personally.”

Wilf was asked who would replace Peterson as “the face of the franchise,” something the star running back has been since the day he was drafted in 2007.

“We want our face of the franchise to be a Lombardi Trophy,” Wilf said. “That’s what drives us. Obviously, we have a tremendous core of great young talent right down the line. We’re very pleased with our quarterback, Sam Bradford, and on the defensive side with so many great core players. We’re building a roster that has a lot of playmakers.”

Wilf also talked about the well-publicized tweet by Riki Ellison, the father of former Vikings tight end Rhett Ellison. After Rhett signed with the Giants, Riki tweeted that the Vikings had “toxic leadership.”

Asked how much that tweet concerned ownership, Wilf said, “None at all from ownership. Not really sure where that comes from. I know how close coach [Mike] Zimmer and our GM Rick Spielman are and how great the work together and they communicate from us. From our perspective, I’m not really sure what Mr. Ellison’s perspective is.”

And Wilf also talked about Monday’s vote that allowed the Raiders to move from Oakland to Las Vegas. The Raiders became the third team to relocate in the past year.

“[Relocation] is never good, I think,” he said. “We try to minimize the fact of moving around. We’re very pleased that we were able to get a solution done in Minnesota with a great public-private partnership [for U.S. Bank Stadium].

“The oakland situation was not really a viable path forward there. We are sympathetic to the fact that Oakland is losing a franchise, but on the other hand I think Las Vegas and that market is going to be a good market for the NFL.”

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