Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater still is expected to back up Vikings starter Case Keenum during Sunday’s NFC playoff game vs. the Saints, league sources told the Star Tribune. However, coach Mike Zimmer kept the door open for Sam Bradford to be activated for the first time since Oct. 9.
“I haven’t made any decisions yet,” Zimmer said while refuting a report from the Boston Globe that Bradford will suit up Sunday.
Bradford would first need to be activated from injured reserve. He has practiced five times in recent weeks following Nov. 7 arthroscopic surgery to clean up his left knee. When asked if Bradford would be ready to play for the Vikings if needed, Zimmer said, “I think so.”
“It’s kind of hard to judge with five practices,” Zimmer said. “He’s working in, but he’s got a way to go still.”
Bridgewater said he didn’t know who the backup quarterback is for Sunday, adding “some things you don’t talk about.” By NFL rule, the Vikings have another week in the 21-day window to practice Bradford before needing to elevate him to the active roster or shut him down.
“It’s kind of hard to get reps when you’re getting your starter ready,” Zimmer said. “When you got 40 reps in a practice and [Bradford] gets five and Bridgewater gets five. Want to talk about the Saints?”
An eye on Kamara
The Vikings were interested in Saints running back Alvin Kamara during last spring’s draft, bringing him in for one of 30 official pre-draft visits while searching for another weapon. The Vikings’ coverage units are also studying Kamara this week after his 106-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the regular-season finale against the Buccaneers.
“We knew studying him as a returner, he didn’t have a ton of experience at Tennessee,” special teams coordinator Mike Priefer said. “But enough to say this guy is going to be really good someday.”
No frozen pipes
Sunday’s forecast calls for snow flurries, some wind gusts and a high of 15 degrees. It will be significantly warmer inside U.S. Bank Stadium, where the Vikings certainly won’t open the five glass doors. Zimmer still sounds like he has asked about the possibility.
“If it’s minus-2, we’re going to have the doors open so they have to wear their long johns. No, they won’t open the doors,” Zimmer said. “They’re afraid the pipes might freeze, and then we’d have a lot of issues.”
Cleanest locker: ‘Jet’
Running back Jerick Mc-Kinnon already is starting to collect the postseason awards, starting with a jug of Tide detergent awarded by the Vikings training staff with “Cleanest Locker Award” scribbled on the side.
“Really just everybody else’s locker looks really, really bad,” McKinnon said.