The Minnesota Vikings had their top two quarterbacks, Teddy Bridgewater and Shaun Hill, both back in practice and throwing with what appears to be no significant lingering effects from the injuries that likely resulted in the team shortening practice Sunday.
Bridgewater has been sidelined since before the Seattle game last Thursday, when he was pulled from the lineup shortly before the start of the game. In limited duty in individual drills Tuesday, Bridgewater threw about a dozen passes as well as a dozen or more in team drills.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer wouldn’t confirm or deny a report by ESPN that Bridgewater had a sore shoulder, but he defended his position of not commenting about that injury.
“We try to do the best we can. I told you guys when I first got here I would try to be as transparent and honest as I can, and I will be, but there’s certain things I’m not going to tell you and if [Zimmer stressed the word “if”] he had an issue with his shoulder then I’m going to make sure I err on the side of caution,” Zimmer said after Tuesday’s practice. “Also, if I played him and he got hurt you guys would be killing me in the press. So I’m always going to protect the players. I’m going to do what I think is best for the organization and you’re going to have to respect that.”
Without Bridgewater or Hill throwing in practice on Sunday, the Vikings offense had a very sloppy outing and Zimmer cut practice short by about 40 minutes and moved the players’ off day from Tuesday to Monday, although he said his quarterbacks sitting out didn’t factor into him adjusting the schedule.
“No, I felt like the team was tired and needed some time to get away,” he said.
Zimmer said Tuesday’s practice was better, and it was with Bridgewater and Hill back in action.
[FOR RECENT VIDEOS, CLICK HERE]
The best news for the Vikings was that there was no noticeable deficiency in Bridgewater’s velocity or accuracy on his passes, although he didn’t throw a pass farther than 20 yards and appeared to be on a pitch count. He didn’t participate in a red zone session late in practice.
“He was typical Teddy, coming out here making his plays,” said receiver Charles Johnson. “It was good to have him back out here throwing to us. It’s a little bit different than catching from the other guys. It’s a little bit different once you’ve been going with one guy so long catching from the other guys. It was good to get him back out with the guys and he enjoys it.”
Hill appears to be fine as well. He took his full complement of reps both in individual and team drills as well. Hill had his left wrist wrapped in Sunday’s practice, but on Tuesday it wasn’t wrapped above his wrist, although he did have a glove on his left hand.
Whether this is a sign that both of them have worked their way through their respective injuries or not is yet to be determined, but it is a good sign for Vikings fans to have both of them on the field, taking snaps and making throws.
[JOIN THE VIKINGS DISCUSSION, CLICK HERE]
Zimmer indicated he would rely on the doctors’ opinions on whether a player should participate in a game.
“A lot of time it’s up to the trainers and the doctors. I’m never going to put a player out on the field that can’t protect himself or is not healthy,” Zimmer said. “A lot of times they’ll say, ‘Hey, yeah, I can go.’ But I tell them, ‘If you go out there and you get hurt in two plays like what happened a couple times last year it’s hurting the team. If you can go and play the game, you can play.’ But if the doctor is telling me they can’t do it, then they’re not going to do it.”
[John Holler contributed to this report.]