Bridgewater returns, appears ready to start

QB Teddy Bridgewater returned to practice Tuesday and appears on track to start Sunday against the Detroit Lions at TCF Bank Stadium.

The rookie should be returning.

The Minnesota Vikings’ top-rated quarterback, first-round quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, is on track to return to the field Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

Bridgewater returned to practice Tuesday after sitting out the blowout loss to the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night with a sprained left ankle. He didn’t practice at all last week.

“He’s fine,” head coach Mike Zimmer said on Tuesday. “He’s alright.”

Bridgewater had taken over starting duties the previous week in a 41-28 upset over the Atlanta Falcons. In that game, Bridgewater completed 19 of 30 passes for 317 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. For the season, which includes the previous game when he relieved the injured Matt Cassel, Bridgewater is 31 of 50 for 467 yards, but doesn’t have a touchdown or an interception in compiling his 92.7 passer rating. His rating is more than 25 points higher than any of quarterback on the roster.

“Obviously you saw in the Atlanta game he can definitely make plays and throw the ball,” left tackle Matt Kalil said. “… He’s back there making plays and it’s awesome to have a quarterback like that back there. You know if you protect he’s going to make plays.”

Cassel, who was lost for the season after suffering several broken bones in his right foot in Week 3, finished the year with a 65.8 rating. Christian Ponder, whose only appearance was his start against the Packers, is far behind with a 45.8 rating, completing 22 of 44 passes for 222 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.


  • While Bridgewater returned to practice, safety Harrison Smith didn’t practice Tuesday. He suffered an ankle injury on Thursday night and was on crutches with his left foot in a walking boot on Friday. Zimmer declined to talk about injuries on Tuesday, but the Vikings will have to issue an injury report on Wednesday afternoon.

  • Also missing from practice was WR Jarius Wright (personal reasons) and LB Chad Greenway (ribs/hand). Greenway was at practice without his left hand wrapped, but after stretching he went to work on conditioning with head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman. Greenway has missed the last two games with three broken ribs. Greenway said his approach to possibly playing on Sunday will “day by day.”

    ”Just trying to do what I can do and really just trying to take care of my treatment and let the staff take me through that and just continue to feel better,” Greenway said.

  • New Vikings safety Pierre Warren, signed to the practice squad on Tuesday, will wear number 20.

  • Zimmer and defensive tackle Tom Johnson both said they expect Johnson to play on Sunday after he was arrested for trespassing early Sunday morning. Johnson was administered the stun gun after he apparently wasn’t cooperative with authorizes in leaving the Seven restaurant, according to the police report. “People in the authorities should be accountable for negative activity,” an emotional Johnson said. “I guess my lawyer’s going to handle it, and everything’s going to catch up. … Everything will be cleared up.”

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