Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman told a small gathering of Twin Cities media earlier today that the team is going to take all the time it’s allotted per NFL rules before making its decision on whether or not to move quarterback Teddy Bridgewater from the physically unable to perform list to the active roster.
That deadline is a week from today. The Vikings practiced today and will reconvene next Monday for their first practice following their bye week. If Bridgewater isn’t activated by the deadline, he would stay on PUP for the remainder of the season.
Spielman said the team is only trying to decide whether or not to add Bridgewater to the active roster, not whether it should start him as early as the Washington game a week from Sunday. Bridgewater returned to practice Oct. 18.
Spielman also mentioned multiple times that injured quarterback Sam Bradford also “is trying like heck to get himself back as quickly as he can, too.” He avoided saying whether the team thinks Bradford will return this season.
“All [the quarterback] decisions will be made coming up next week,” Spielman said. “It will be a decision we make after speaking with [Bridgewater’s] doctor, our medical staff, myself and coach [Mike Zimmer], and then we’ll go from there.”
At some point this season, the Vikings could have four healthy quarterbacks, including rookie Kyle Sloter. Three of them — Bridgewater, Bradford and current starter Case Keenum — could all be in the final year of their contract. Spielman wouldn’t comment on the team’s understanding of the rules on whether Bridgewater’s contract would toll to next season if he remains on PUP all season.
Spielman was asked how important it is to see Bridgewater in a game this season to determine who will be the starting quarterback in 2018.
“What’s most important is what’s best for Teddy Bridgewater for the long haul,” he said. “To say that our organization would put any player out there who’s not ready to play football, we would never do that. And that’s not fair to the player, that’s not fair to our organization. We will play guys, regardless of who it is, when they’re ready to step out on the field.”
Asked if he’s in a tough position trying to figure out next year’s starter, Spielman said, “I figure we have plenty of time to figure that out. We’ve got a ways to go yet before we have to make those decisions.”
As for how the Vikings will sort out their starting quarterback for Washington and beyond, Spielman said, “The decision on the quarterback will come down to what coach Zimmer and the staff feels gives us the best chance to win,.
“I know Teddy has worked extremely hard to get himself back as quickly as he can. Talking about Case [Keenum] coming in, he’s done a phenomenal job from what he’s been asked to do. Sam [ Bradford] came out and played great that first game and unfortunately we lost him [to a knee injury].
“[It helps] to have a guy like Case Keenum, and what Zim and Pat Shurmur and the offensive staff have done to not change the system, but to do some things that are positive and what Case can do well. And that’s one great thing, they can identify what our players do well and try to magnify that by what they’re calling and managing the game. And I think that’s a lot of reasons that we’ve had success to date.”