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Breaking news and year-round coverage of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings. Access Vikings is the Star Tribune's blog covering team news, rumors, games and all things purple.

Vikings players Harrison Smith, Andrew Sendejo have surgery

Starting safeties Andrew Sendejo and Harrison Smith both had recent offseason surgeries, but are expected to return to full strength before training camp, an NFL source said today.

Smith’s ankle surgery was first reported by ESPN. The Pro Bowl free safety was hampered by a severe ankle injury that forced him to miss two games late in the season. Smith, who initially thought he didn’t need surgery, returned and played the final two games of the regular season. He put off surgery until after the Pro Bowl.

Sendejo, who underwent knee surgery, had his second season as starter end due to the knee injury suffered in practice. He was placed on injured reserve andmissed the regular season finale vs. Chicago.

Both safeties were key parts of the Vikings’ third-ranked pass defense from last season.

Mike Zimmer: 'I want Teddy. I don't want him going somewhere else.'

Right now, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer doesn’t have a choice to make at quarterback because, as he said today at the owners meetings, “I honestly have no idea” when Teddy Bridgewater will be able to play again after last summer’s devastating knee injury.

For now, Sam Bradford is the starter. But it’s not as though the 29-year-old is a starter just by default. He played well under incredibly adverse conditions a year ago, setting an NFL record for completion percentage while proving he can stay healthy for an entire season.

So what happens when Bridgewater does return to full strength? Will the Vikings have an even more difficult decision to make if Bradford improves. He turns 30 in November, but that’s not a bad thing for quarterbacks. In fact, it can mean they’re very much still in their prime.

I asked Zimmer at today’s NFC coaches breakfast how Teddy is handling the possibility of not having a future with this team, adding that “I’m sure he knows he’ll play somewhere, if not in Minnesota.”

Zimmer paused and gathered his thoughts before making it clear he’s still very much a fan of his fallen QB despite his appreciation for how well Bradford has filled in.

“The biggest thing again is just trying to get [Bridgewater] healthy and go from there,” Zimmer said. “I want Teddy. I don’t want him going somewhere else.”

Bridgewater is 24. He turns 25 on Nov. 10, two days after Bradford turns 30.

“There really is no other plan [for the future at quarterback] ntil Teddy gets healthy,” Zimmer said. “It’s when he gets healthy, we’ll worry about it. We don’t know when it’s going to be. If he comes in tomorrow and is 100 percent, which he won’t, but if he did, then we’d have to adjust things. But right now we don’t know when he’s going to be ready.”

Zimmer also said the Vikings have a plan in place to bring in a veteran quarterback to prepare to serve as Bradford’s backup going into the season. He wouldn’t say who they’ve targeted but made it sound as though something could be happening relatively soon.

NFL Scoreboard

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No NFL games today

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No MLS games today

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