Mike Zimmer declined to confirm a sore shoulder for Teddy Bridgewater, though Saturday’s practice was all the evidence anybody needed.
Two days after he was a surprise sit during a preseason game in Seattle, Bridgewater did not throw during practice. He still donned full pads and a helmet, taking part in the first-team offense during run plays. Bridgewater handed the ball off to Adrian Peterson, pitched it to Jerick McKinnon, ran bootlegs and pump faked. But no passes.
“I’m not going to talk about injuries,” Zimmer said Saturday, adding he has “no concern” with his starting quarterback.
Bridgewater “could’ve played” during the Vikings’ exhibition win Thursday against the Seahawks, Zimmer said, reiterating it was his decision to sit him. On Friday, a report surfaced by ESPN that Bridgewater, who said during the game his health was not a concern, was sidelined because of a sore shoulder.
A quiet Saturday practice for Bridgewater came on the same day in which backup quarterback Shaun Hill was given a rare veteran’s day off, according to Zimmer. The 36-year-old quarterback completed 10 of 17 throws for 129 yards against the Seahawks.
“I thought they’ve done good,” Zimmer said of his backup quarterbacks. “I thought Shaun played well the other night.”
So quarterbacks Joel Stave and Brad Sorensen, who signed Saturday, were the only passers at Vikings practice. Stave, an undrafted rookie out of Wisconsin, led the way with the first-team offense when plays called for an arm.
Stave said he found out just before practice that he’d be running some of the offense.
“I knew Shaun wasn’t going to be there,” Stave said. “I wasn’t expecting it. You know, it was exciting.”
Though not many passes were thrown during team drills, which Stave confirmed as neither Bridgewater’s arm nor Hill’s arm were available.
A few injured Vikings suited up the pads Saturday for the first time in a while.
Receiver Jarius Wright and guard Brandon Fusco returned to practice after being held out since Aug. 8 and Aug. 11, respectively. Fusco retook his post at right guard, enabling Joe Berger to move to left guard for Alex Boone, who missed practice Saturday due to personal reasons, according to Zimmer.
“Today I was with the first team,” Fusco said. “I’m out there and back with my teammates; excited to be back.”
Wright, who has been sidelined because of an apparent calf injury, received most of his work with the second-team offense, joining receivers Laquon Treadwell and Cordarrelle Patterson.
Linebacker Eric Kendricks (hamstring) also was back at practice after a two-week absence and took part in individual drills. He was joined briefly by defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (knee), who suited up before shedding the shoulder pads to work with athletic trainer Eric Sugarman.
Not practicing for the Vikings were cornerback Xavier Rhodes (hamstring), Hill, Boone, running back Matt Asiata, defensive tackle Scott Crichton, safety Anthony Harris and cornerback Melvin White.
Second-year cornerback Trae Waynes filled in for Rhodes at right cornerback during practice.
New arm in town
With Bridgewater and Hill not passing, Sorensen joined the team.
The 28-year-old Sorensen (6-5, 230 pounds) last played a year ago in the preseason, completing 38 of 69 passes for 336 yards and one touchdown with three interceptions with the San Diego Chargers.
Sorensen, a fourth-year pro, was a seventh-round draft pick by the Chargers in 2013 out of Southern Utah. Last year’s third-string QB, Taylor Heinicke, is expected to start the regular season on the non-football injury list because of a foot injury suffered in July.