Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will have his knee evaluated by his surgeon on Monday, according to Vikings athletic trainer Eric Sugarman. Two days later the quarterback is eligible to return to practice.
“Then we’re going to take it from there,” Sugarman said.
Bridgewater, 24, has not practiced since dislocating his knee and suffering multiple torn ligaments, including his anterior cruciate ligament, during a routine practice drill on Aug. 30, 2016. The Vikings are proceeding with caution, but, as the Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling reported last week, they’re optimistic Bridgewater will practice soon after he’s eligible to return.
NFL rules prevent Bridgewater from practicing until after the sixth game of the regular season since he’s on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Once Bridgewater returns to practice, the Vikings will have a 21-day window to promote him to the active roster or he’ll be done for the season.
“Teddy is working hard every day. You guys see him all the time on the side working extremely hard, doing a great job,” Sugarman said. “That’s the only thing I’m going to say about Teddy.”
A backfield committee
Jerick McKinnon led the backfield in the Vikings’ first game without Dalvin Cook, seeing about two-thirds of the workload (47 snaps) to Latavius Murray’s one-third (22 snaps). The Vikings could continue to go with the hot hand, according to head coach Mike Zimmer.
Murray started, but McKinnon got the bulk of snaps after halftime. McKinnon seized control starting with his 58-yard touchdown and later a 14-yard gain in the third quarter. He finished with 146 combined yards on offense.
“Murray started out the game good,” Zimmer said. “He had good runs early and kind of tapered off a little bit. I think Jerick started off a little slow and then he got going toward the end. We’ll just have to see how it goes as we continue to move forward.”
‘A real fire’
Linebacker Anthony Barr’s shoestring tackle on Bears running back Tarik Cohen for a loss of three yards on Monday night marked his fourth tackle for a loss in five games — leading the Vikings defense.
“I thought Anthony played very well,” Zimmer said. “The last two weeks he’s played with, and I’m not saying he hasn’t previously, but I’ve noticed even more these last two weeks he’s played with a real fire. Trying to get to the ball, rushing. All the different things.”
Barr, in his fourth NFL season, is playing with a more tangible confidence, according to Zimmer.
“I think he’s starting to see himself more as a dominant, play-making kind of guy,” Zimmer said.
Cook undergoes surgery
Running back Dalvin Cook underwent surgery Monday to repair the torn ACL in his left knee. The surgery, done by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla., found “no real further damage” in Cook’s knee, according to Sugarman. The Vikings rookie was placed on injured reserve last week after suffering the season-ending knee injury Oct. 1 against the Lions.
“A pretty straight ACL [injury],” Sugarman said. “And I’d hope to expect him at training camp next year.”
On Cook’s Twitter account, he wrote: “Thanks for all the prayers and thoughts surgery went great!!!!”
No updates on Diggs, Easton
Zimmer offered no updates on receiver Stefon Diggs and left guard Nick Easton, two starters on offense who suffered injuries in Chicago. Diggs, who played 49 snaps against the Bears, was hampered by a groin injury. Easton missed the final 10 snaps on Monday night due to an injured calf.