Starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and veteran backup Shaun Hill both threw passes in individual and team drills during today’s practice.
Bridgewater was held out of part of an early practice period where the quarterbacks chucked deep balls. And he didn’t appear in team drills to attempt any passes that traveled more than 15 yards past the line and some of the shorter throws he made noticeably lacked a little velocity. But the fact that he is back to throwing passes is a good sign for the Vikings.
Bridgewater, who was held out of last Thursday’s preseason win over the Seahawks, did not throw a pass during either of the team’s practices over the weekend. He was suited up, though, and handed the ball off in some team drills. The Vikings moved a practice originally scheduled for Monday to today, in part because they needed to have enough quarterbacks.
Mike Zimmer would not say whether Bridgewater will play in either of the team’s two remaining preseason games. But he does not think it would be a big deal if Bridgewater is unable to play again during the preseason.
“He’s played an awful lot of games. It’s not like he’s a first-year rookie,” the coach said. “We’re going to continue to do what we think is best.”
Hill, meanwhile, did not appear to have any limitations after he did not participate at all in Saturday and Sunday’s practices. He completed a pair of deep balls to wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson in team drills today.
Teams are not obligated to issue injury reports during training camp, and after today’s practice, Zimmer defended his lack of transparency about the status of his starting quarterback after holding him out in Seattle.
“I told you guys when I first got here I would try and be as transparent and honest as I can and I will be. But there are certain things I’m not going to tell you,” Zimmer said without prompting. “If he had an issue with his shoulder then I’m going to make sure that I err on the side of caution. Because if I played him and he got hurt, you guys would be killing me in the press. I’m always going to protect the players. I’m going to do what I think is best for the organization and you’re going to have to respect that.”
The Vikings host their preseason home opener, their first game at U.S. Bank Stadium, on Sunday against the Chargers. We’ll see if Bridgewater progresses enough during the week to get some action in that game.
Behind Bridgewater and Hill, undrafted rookie Joel Stave has gotten plenty of work in the first two preseason games. The Vikings signed Brad Sorensen over the weekend for an extra arm. It is unclear if he will play Sunday.
Last year’s third-stringer Taylor Heinicke, is now out of the walking boot that he had been wearing after surgery to repair a tendon in his foot. But he remains on the non-football injury list for the foreseeable future.