Vikings coach Mike Zimmer maintained all week that he expected Teddy Bridgewater to play Sunday against the Raiders. But as of Friday, he was still waiting for his quarterback to get the green light from an independent neurologist to clear him through the NFL's concussion protocol.
Bridgewater has finally been cleared to start, according to an ESPN report.
Bridgewater suffered his concussion in the fourth quarter of last weekend's 21-18 overtime victory over the Rams. He was shouldered in the head by Rams rookie cornerback Lamarcus Joyner as he slid down following a run for a first down. Joyner was fined $23,152 for the hit by the NFL this week.
The second-year quarterback practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and was a full participant on both Thursday and Friday. The Vikings listed him as questionable on Friday's final injury report, which is supposed to mean he had a 50/50 chance to play. But Zimmer was certain Bridgewater would.
"I don't have any doubts," Zimmer said immediately after Friday's practice.
Per NFL rules, though, the independent neurologist had the final say. And after checking out Bridgewater following Friday's practice, the neurologist reportedly cleared the quarterback to play against the Raiders, who rank last in the NFL in pass defense, having allowed 315 passing yards per game.