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Less than 14 months after suffering a knee injury so severe there was fear he could lose his left leg, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was reportedly cleared to practice by his surgeon.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen posted on Twitter that Dr. Dan Cooper, the man who performed the surgery on Bridgewater’s dislocated knee – he also suffered a torn ACL – has given Bridgewater the thumbs up to return to practice.
Bridgewater is on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, and under league rules, he wasn’t able to begin formally practicing until this week. Once he is activated and begins practicing, the Vikings will have 21 days to either place Bridgewater on the 53-man roster, release him or keep him on the PUP list for the remainder of the season.
UPDATE (2:45 p.m. ET): Mortensen has advanced the story, tweeting that the Vikings will take Bridgewater off the PUP list this week, and that the 24-year-old will practice on Wednesday. As he hasn’t taken a snap in over a year and hasn’t played in a game of any consequence since Jan. 10, 2016, Bridgewater will likely be eased in.
Earlier on Monday morning, Bridgewater posted his own message on Twitter, a very brief, “Thank you,” which would seem to confirm Mortensen’s news that Bridgewater got the news he’s likely been waiting for.
The Vikings believe that Bridgewater, who led Minnesota to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth in 2015, will be able to play this year. It will be quite the story if he does, given the dire outlook on whether he’d ever return to football in the days after he initially was hurt on Aug. 30, 2016.
And Minnesota could use him too: Sam Bradford, whom they acquired in a trade with Philadelphia in the aftermath of Bridgewater’s injury, has played in just two games this season due to a knee injury of his own. Case Keenum has started four games and has played largely mistake free, and with the Vikings’ strong defense, it’s meant a 4-2 record and share of the NFC North lead.
The Green Bay Packers, whom Minnesota beat on Sunday for that divisional tie, lost their quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, in the same game with a broken clavicle in his right (throwing) shoulder. Green Bay will be playing Brett Hundley, Rodgers’ third-year backup, likely for the rest of the season.