Sam Bradford is back at practice for the Minnesota Vikings, and it looks like he’s closer to playing at any point since he first went out in the days leading up to the Pittsburgh Steelers game.
Bradford said earlier that his knee feels a lot better than it did two weeks ago, and is feeling optimistic:
"It feels much better this week than what it did 2 weeks ago when I was on the practice field." - Sam Bradford— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) October 6, 2017
: https://t.co/4XNO9fCAPB pic.twitter.com/mCWCTk58Ll
Bradford optimistic: "Compared to the way my knee felt and what I was able to do yesterday it’s come a long ways. I feel much better on it."— Brian Murphy (@murphPPress) October 6, 2017
Bradford: "I think these two weeks, from when I last practiced, it was night and day how my knee felt." #Vikings— Brian Murphy (@murphPPress) October 6, 2017
Which is a marked improvement, obviously. But Bradford also had some cautionary words, too:
Bradford: "I would like it to be 100% but at this point I don’t even know if that’s possible until the bye week or the end of the year."— Brian Murphy (@murphPPress) October 6, 2017
Bradford: "In my mind by tomorrow I’ll have a good idea of where I’m at." #Vikings— Brian Murphy (@murphPPress) October 6, 2017
So the good news is that Bradford’s knee is definitely feeling better, better than at any point since he was first injured in the opening game against the Saints. The bad news is that this is something that’s probably not going to heal completely this year, and according to head coach Mike Zimmer, it’s a pain management issue, per Strib reporter Mark Craig:
“If he’s ready [by Monday] to play,” coach Mike Zimmer said, “he’ll play.”
The Vikings want to get Bradford back to full strength and avoid a recurring issue, as Zimmer alluded to Thursday when asked if the quarterback’s return is a matter of pain tolerance.
“Yeah, that’s pretty much what it is,” Zimmer said. “But I’m hoping it’s not [an issue] throughout the season.”
Although it’s not 100% definitive that Bradford will play Monday, this is the closest he’s been to being ready to play in three games, so we’ll see what Saturday and Sunday brings. And when we find out, we’ll be sure to let you know.