Cornerback Xavier Rhodes practiced Wednesday after suffering a concussion in the Vikings’ 31-14 victory over San Diego on Sunday and is poised to play this weekend against Denver.
Rhodes was concussed during a scary collision with safety Andrew Sendejo late in the second quarter. His head snapped back and he lay face down on the turf before being helped to the locker room. He did not return.
On Monday, coach Mike Zimmer said Rhodes was “feeling great” and that he already had cleared the first hurdle in the league’s concussion protocol. By Wednesday morning, Rhodes had been fully cleared to resume practicing.
“It’s definitely a good sign,” Rhodes said after getting in a full practice in the afternoon. I’m just ready to go and play against Denver.”
Back at ya
Teddy Bridgewater has long admired Peyton Manning, Denver’s future Hall of Fame quarterback. On Sunday, Bridgewater will go throw for throw against the 39-year-old for the first and perhaps last time.
“Peyton’s a great guy, probably the best quarterback to play this game, a great ambassador for this league,” the second-year signal caller said.
Bridgewater was only 5 years old when Manning made his NFL debut with the Colts in 1998. And Bridgewater has seen him win a Super Bowl and five MVP awards. Manning, meanwhile, has had a much smaller sample size to watch when it comes to Bridgewater, but he said he likes what he has seen.
“Obviously, he’s off to a great start in his career,” Manning said on a conference call. “I know our defense has a challenge against their offense this week.”
Appearing on a conference call with Denver area reporters, running back Adrian Peterson was asked about Bridgewater’s progress in his first two NFL seasons. While answering the question, Peterson compared him with Christian Ponder.
“If Christian Ponder had that same poise he would probably still be here playing,” Peterson said. “That’s how big I feel like it is at the quarterback position.”
That was actually a pretty fair assessment of the biggest thing that held Ponder back as a passer after the Vikings selected him in the first round in 2011. They, of course, pulled the plug on the Ponder era by drafting Bridgewater last spring.
“That’s something that [Bridgewater] has — he’s very competitive,” Peterson said. “He doesn’t get down on himself too much. He knows that, hey, you have to go to the next play and keep looking forward and not dwell. [You’ve] got to have a short memory when you’re playing the quarterback position.”
A good group
Both Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders started their NFL careers in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers had an impressive group of receivers that also included 2014 All-Pro Antonio Brown and Hines Ward, who was voted to four Pro Bowls before retiring.
“He was the fourth guy his first year because Hines was still playing, but he [was] still talking like he’s the best out of all of us,” Wallace said of his buddy Sanders, who has 22 catches for 239 yards and a pair of touchdowns this season.
Wallace said there is “a lot of trash talking going on” between the two this week.
“He’s just like that, no matter what situation he’s in,” Wallace said. “He’s the man.”
Vereen to join Vikings
Brock Vereen, a former Gophers safety who was cut by the Bears earlier this week, is headed for the Vikings practice squad, according to multiple reports.
Vereen started four games for the Bears last season and played in their first three this season.
Vereen would replace linebacker Brian Peters, who was signed by Houston off the Vikings practice squad Wednesday.
Speaking of wide receivers, both Charles Johnson (ribs) and Jarius Wright (hand) did not practice Wednesday after getting injured in the win over the Chargers.
Also sitting out practice were Sendejo (knee) and defensive end Justin Trattou (foot). Trattou, who was on crutches after the game, is not expected to suit up on Sunday.
Linebacker Audie Cole (ankle) was a limited participant in practice.