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Report: Sam Bradford Improving, On Track To Play Monday Night?

Bradford is back practicing and early indications are he’s close to playing.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

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:

Which is a marked improvement, obviously. But Bradford also had some cautionary words, too:

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.