After reporting that starting quarterback Sam Bradford will be inactive for today’s Minnesota Vikings’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, not all of the quarterback-related news being generated by the purple today is bad.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the team is anticipating that Teddy Bridgewater will be healthy enough to play by midseason, which could potentially make the Vikings’ quarterback situation a whole lot more interesting.
Bridgewater is currently on the Physically Unable to Perform list, and he has to remain on that list for the first six games of the 2017 season. After that, the Vikings can allow him to start practicing with the team before making the decision about whether or not to activate him to the 53-man roster.
Assuming that Bradford’s knee injury will only keep him out for this week, what the Vikings potentially do with Bridgewater would be interesting. In a perfect world, he’d slot in as Bradford’s backup and be ready to start if anything happened to him. The Vikings have today’s starter, Case Keenum, on board, as well as undrafted rookie Kyle Sloter, who they promoted to the 53-man roster in light of Bradford’s injury and paid a hefty price to get onto the practice squad following final cuts.
Bridgewater being “healthy enough” to return might not automatically mean a return, however. Mike Zimmer said on numerous occasions this offseason that Bridgewater was going to have to show that he could protect himself in a live fire situation, and if he can’t do that to the team’s satisfaction, then they might wind up not activating him at all.
There’s also the contract portion of this whole thing, which we’ve been over numerous times. By being on the PUP list for the first six games of the season, the language of the Collective Bargaining Agreement seems to indicate that Bridgewater’s contract would “toll,” or roll over into next season, as he’s in the final year of his deal. I’m sure there will be an argument between the NFLPA and the Vikings over that, which should be tons of fun.
But, it’s looking more and more like there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel for Teddy Bridgewater. So, if nothing else, there’s at least a little bit of good news coming out of the Vikings’ quarterback room today.