Minnesota Vikings: When does Teddy Bridgewater return as the starting QB?

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 10: Teddy Bridgewater
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 10: Teddy Bridgewater /

Teddy Bridgewater is back on the field to the delight of Minnesota Vikings players, coaches and fans alike. But, when does Teddy return to the field as the starting quarterback?

I remember August 30, 2016 well. It was the day my hopes were crushed hearing Teddy Bridgewater went down with a serious knee injury in practice. Of course, I wasn’t alone as Minnesota Vikings fans’ Super Bowl aspirations seemingly went away in one moment. A fluky, non-contact play that went as wrong as it possibly could.

When specifics came out on the injury, Bridgewater’s future looked even more bleak. Diagnosed with a dislocated left knee and multiple torn ligaments, many believed the injury was career-threatening. In fact, if the Vikings training staff hadn’t responded as quickly as they did, Teddy could have lost his leg as a result.

Essentially, the odds weren’t exactly in Bridgewater’s favor to ever return to the field again.

Nevertheless, the 24-year old is indeed back on the practice field after 14 months of intense rehab. An absolutely mind-boggling thought given the initial outlook of the injury. Yet, a testament to Bridgewater’s work ethic and the Vikings training staff’s efforts in not only saving Bridgewater’s leg, but getting him to the point of return.

As a tribute to Teddy’s epic return, here’s a video from the quarterback’s first day back at practice:


So, after defying all odds in his return to the Vikings, the question everyone is now asking is: When does Teddy make a return to the game field as Minnesota’s starting quarterback?

Given Sam Bradford’s knee issues, there’s definitely a path for him to return as starter sooner than later. Something that no one gave much thought to prior to this season since most felt good about Bradford leading the team after a career-season in year one with the Vikings.

That being said, backup Case Keenum has taken the reins from Bradford and performed quite well. As matter of fact, he’s tied for tenth in passer rating at 93.1, while only throwing one interception in five games played. In the process, he’s led Minnesota to a 3-2 record, giving them a chance to win in every game.

Related Story: The Case for Keenum at QB

Altogether, this adds up to Bridgewater not seeing a start any time soon. Head coach Mike Zimmer echoed these sentiments following Teddy’s first practice.

Luckily, the Vikings can have Bridgewater practice without being an active member on the roster for three weeks after spending time on the physically unable to perform list. This allows him to focus on getting back into the swing of things and develop chemistry with the offense. Not to mention, an offensive unit he apparently saw some first team snaps with according to quarterback Kyle Sloter.

The three-week practice window leads into the Vikings’ bye week in Week 9, so realistically, Week 10 is the earliest Bridgewater likely returns to the game field. Actually, I wouldn’t put it out of the question that he could start, especially if Keenum can’t sustain his current level of play. I mean, as already mentioned, Teddy received a few first teams looks in his first practice, so that’s a sign he could very well make a difference this season.

Even so, just because Week 10 represents the earliest time Bridgewater regains the starter role doesn’t make it ideal. If Minnesota has learned anything in the last couple of months, it’s that players with knee injuries shouldn’t be rushed back onto field just because they may give you a better chance to win. In reality, that can cause more harm than good, especially if the injury becomes a bigger problem moving forward.

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Also, a return to the field likely means Keenum falling out of favor in the offense. Yet, there’s no reason to believe that’ll be the “Case” over the next couple of weeks. Ideally, the Vikings can ride Keenum the rest of the way, pending a Bradford return, allowing Bridgewater to slowly work his way back with a good chance to start in 2018.

But, as all Vikings fans know, nothing ever goes ideal when it comes to this team, so I’d be shocked not to see Teddy at some point this season. While many fans would like to see that point come soon, don’t count on it. Yet, following Week 9, there’s all kinds of possibilities for the promising young quarterback to return once again as the Vikings starting quarterback.

Next: Starting pitching options for the Minnesota Twins!

For now, just embrace the fact the beloved quarterback is even on the field. That’s something that shouldn’t be taken for granted, a miracle in itself. Skol Teddy & Skol Vikes!