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Vikings Athletic Trainer Provides Updates on Bradford, Bridgewater, Cook

Posted Oct 10, 2017

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Eric Sugarman on Tuesday told members of the media that Sam Bradford’s condition will be evaluated one day at a time, that Teddy Bridgewater will be re-evaluated by his surgeon next Monday and that Dalvin Cook underwent successful surgery on his ACL tear yesterday.

Bradford suffered a knee injury during Week 1 and was sidelined the following three weeks.

He returned to the lineup Monday night in Chicago and re-aggravated the injury against the Bears. He left the game with less than a minute before halftime and was replaced by Case Keenum.

“We’re not dealing with a ligament injury with Sam,” Sugarman said in his opening comments. “We’re not dealing with a bone bruise from a direct hit. Sam has wear and tear in his knee joint, and these injuries are very difficult to manage and treat. You’re going to ask when Sam is going to be back, and one day at a time, really like all players.

“We’re going to look at Sam tomorrow and evaluate him,” Sugarman continued. “At this point, I’m not here to speculate when Sam may or may not be back. I do think it’s important for me to mention that yesterday and always we were all on the same page, with ‘Should Sam play or should Sam not play?’ The question is, ‘How do we come up with that evaluation?’ Basically it’s on a player’s exam and on a player’s function. It’s a collaborative decision always. The player has a vote, the medical staff has a vote, the head coach, the coaching staff, the GM and together, collaboratively, we decide if a player is able to function and do his job or not.

“I think it’s very important — I’ve known most of you now for more than a decade — we would never put a player on the field that we thought could not protect himself,” Sugarman added. “That’s really important for me to mention.

“Sam at some point yesterday obviously aggravated his knee,” he explained. “I can’t give you a specific play or instance when it happened, but I will tell you today that we did get a new MRI, and thankfully he has no additional injury. We’re dealing with the same thing, which is good news for Sam and for everybody.”

Sugarman and the medical staff monitored Bradford’s status throughout the first half.

“It’s my job to be in constant communication with the players and coach at all times. I’m sure that you saw me go over to Sam a bunch of times, after every series, actually, and check with him,” Sugarman said. “It’s my job to watch the injured players, and he felt like he was able to continue to play. When we got to the point where we didn’t feel like he could protect himself, we took him out of the game.”

The Vikings traded to acquire Bradford, who had previously suffered two torn ACLs, in 2016 after Bridgewater suffered a knee dislocation and torn ACL.

Bridgewater is on the Physically Unable to Perform list as he continues his rehab.

“Teddy is working hard every day. You guys see him all of the time on the side [field],” Sugarman said. “He’s working extremely hard, doing a great job. He’s got one more week here where he’s not allowed to participate. He will be re-evaluated by his surgeon next Monday, and then we’re going to take it from there.”

As for Cook, who suffered a torn ACL on Oct. 1 against Detroit in just his fourth pro game, Sugarman said Cook had his ACL repaired Monday by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Florida. 

“No real further damage in his knee, thankfully, a pretty straightforward ACL [injury], and I’d hope to expect him at training camp next year,” Sugarman said.