Teddy Bridgewater is expected to start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list, according to head coach Mike Zimmer.
It’s the anticipated move for Bridgewater, who has not practiced in 11 months since dislocating his knee and tearing multiple ligaments, including his ACL. Bridgewater will still count toward the 90-man roster limit. He is eligible to return to practice whenever he is medically cleared.
Bridgewater has made progress this offseason, spotted during workouts testing his dropbacks against the weight of a resistance band and shuffling side to side on his surgically-repaired left knee. He has received constant praise from coaches and teammates for his approach despite the devastating injury.
However, his availability for training camp was not assumed given the nature of his recovery. Throughout his offseason rehab, Bridgewater has been connected to a bulky knee brace that serves as a reminder for how far he has to go yet.
If Bridgewater is placed on the PUP list and doesn’t practice this preseason, he’ll transfer to the regular season PUP list. That means he wouldn’t count against the team’s eventual 53-man roster and would need to sit out at least the opening six weeks of the season.
Bridgewater, 24, is entering the final year of his rookie contract, but his deal can roll into next year if he’s on the regular season PUP list in 2017.