Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford, who practiced for the second time Friday since getting a second opinion on his injured left knee, said he continues to feel better and sounded hopeful he might be able to play Monday night in Chicago.
Bradford was limited in the Vikings’ first two practices of the week, and said he used all of last week to rest and rehabilitate his knee.
“It feels much better this week compared to what it did two weeks ago when I was on the practice field,” he said.
He flew to Pensacola, Fla., on Sept. 22 to visit Dr. James Andrews, who performed both of the ACL repairs on Bradford’s left knee in 2013 and 2014. That trip confirmed the Vikings’ initial belief there was no structural damage to Bradford’s knee, and the quarterback said Friday the pain and swelling in his knee should disappear over time.
“Going down there and talking to Dr. Andrews, obviously, he’s seen a million different knee injuries,” Bradford said. “He’s dealt with people who have had multiple ACL tears, and some of the things they’ve dealt with after having those tears in their knees. After talking to him and getting a greater understanding of what was going on and what’s going to happen in the future, I think it was definitely good news down there. It was comforting knowing that if things go according to plan, it should be something that eventually goes away.”
Bradford said it might take until the Vikings’ bye week, or even the end of the year, for his knee to feel 100 percent, but added he was prepared to play through some discomfort. He hoped he would have a good idea of whether he’d be able to play by the time the Vikings conclude their final practice of the week Saturday.
“Hopefully after today’s practice, tomorrow’s practice, seeing how it responds to multiple days of practice, multiple days of work, I’ll have a better idea of what it’s going to be like,” he said. “In my mind, I’m hoping that by tomorrow I’ll have a good idea of where I’m at.”
Murray ready for his shot
With Dalvin Cook out for the season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament, the Vikings figure to turn to Latavius Murray as their lead back on Monday night.
“He’s going to play, and he’s hopefully going to play a great deal,” offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. “But, we’re going to mix in Jerick [McKinnon], obviously, as well.”
Murray played 19 snaps to McKinnon’s 10 against the Lions on Sunday, carrying seven times for 21 yards in the loss. The former Raiders running back, who signed a three-year, $15 million deal with the team in March, missed the Vikings’ offseason program and part of training camp following ankle surgery, and had taken a back seat to Cook as the rookie emerged.
Now, he’ll be asked to try and create some of the big plays Cook brought to the offense.
“I want to try and make more people miss — again, try and turn some of those shorter gains into some longer gains, whatever that may be, whether it’s the reads or making a guy miss,” Murray said. “Just do whatever I can, really, to extend the runs a little longer or turn them into explosive [plays].”
Forbath needs to finish
Kai Forbath hit 20 of his 21 field-goal attempts during a Thursday practice, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer said, after missing an attempt for the first time in a Vikings uniform Sunday against the Lions.
Forbath, Priefer said, hit from 61 yards out during the Thursday kicking session. He’s missed a pair of extra points this season, and his miss Sunday was a result of him not finishing his leg swing toward his target, Priefer said.
“He’s just got to get his confidence back, and I think he has his confidence,” Priefer said. “I think he had his confidence in pregame. He had a good pregame. He hit the ball well on the first PAT. We’ve just got to be more consistent, and he knows that.”