Minnesota Vikings' Teddy Bridgewater sheds knee brace during practice drills

By Alex Butler  |  July 13, 2017 at 2:04 PM
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July 13 (UPI) -- Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was looking spry Wednesday on Instagram, posting videos and photos of himself working out without a knee brace.

The Minnesota Vikings' fourth-year gunslinger dislocated his knee and tore his ACL last preseason. He suffered the gruesome injuries during practice and spent the season on injured reserve. In May, the Vikings released a video of the 2015 Pro Bowl selection throwing the ball during OTAs. He was sporting a knee brace, which covered his entire left leg.

The Star Tribune reported Bridgwater's latest workout took place in the rain. He still managed to show off his quick feet on a ladder during agility drills. He also had a football in his hands.

He is expected to open training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list. If he remains on the list when the regular season starts, he will miss the first six games. If that is the case, his contract could roll over through the 2018 season.

Bridgewater's Instagram account is set to private. But several social media users took screenshots of his posts.

The workouts sans-brace are an encouraging sign for the 24-year-old. The last time he was healthy, Bridgewater put up a 2015 Pro Bowl campaign by completing 65.3 percent of his passes for 3,231 yards, 14 scores and nine interceptions. He posted an 11-5 record as the team's starter, leading the Vikings to an NFC North crown.

The Star Tribune reported in June that fans shouldn't "rule out" Bridgewater getting cleared at some point in 2017.

"You know like sometimes when you see a guy every day you don't notice the progress that he's made," coach Mike Zimmer told reporters in June, according to Vikings.com. "I'm gone for two weeks, and obviously he's not on the tape. I come back yesterday, and I say 'Well, Teddy is moving better, quite a bit better in my opinion'."

"I think he's happy with the progress and I know that he's very impatient about wanting to get out there and go," Zimmer said. "But we have to do what's in the best interest of him in the long run. At the end the final say is going to be with the doctors. They gave him the green light to do a little bit more stuff on the side as you saw him today. It's just going to continue to take time."

Sam Bradford, who joined the Vikings in September through a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, will open the season as the team's starter. Last season he led the NFL with a 71.6 completion percentage.

"Teddy, day by day by day is just blowing people away with how he looks out there," Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski told Vikings.com Wednesday. "But more than that, what you don't see is he's great in the meeting room. Teddy is a Hall of Fame teammate. So he is just helping the guys in the meeting room, out on the field. And it's all positions. You will see him out there hanging with the running backs or hanging with the wide receivers and explaining things."

In May, the Vikings decided not to pick up Bridgewater's contract option for 2018.

"We are all just blown away with what he's done so far. We can't wait to see what's going to happen in the future for him," Stefanski said.

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