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Teddy Bridgewater Cleared to Return to Practice

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer on Monday announced that Teddy Bridgewater has been cleared medically to return to practice.

Bridgewater will remain on the Physically Unable to Perform List while the Vikings have up to 21 days to continue to evaluate him. He will not count against the limitation of 53 players on the active roster during this time.

"It's great. He's worked extremely hard," Zimmer said. "Obviously, not only him, the training staff, doctors, Mark Uyeyama, all of those guys have done a great job with trying to rehab him and get him ready to practice. It's a great deal for Teddy, and we'll take it one day at a time, just like we did for the past 14 months."

Zimmer said Bridgewater's return to practices will be gradual.

"He hasn't practiced in 14 months, so we're not going to dose him out Wednesday," Zimmer said.

The Vikings (4-2, 2-1 NFC North) are scheduled to return to practice Wednesday to begin prepping for Sunday's home game against the Ravens (3-3, 2-1 AFC North).

Bridgewater suffered a dislocated knee and torn ACL on Aug. 30, 2016, during a non-contact drill in the Vikings final practice of that preseason. Wednesday will be the 415th day since the injury.

The injury stopped Bridgewater's third pro season before it started and prompted Minnesota to acquire Sam Bradford via trade on Sept. 3, 2016, just eight days before the season opened.

Bradford started 15 games for the Vikings last season and opened the 2017 season ablaze against New Orleans. He completed 27 of 32 passes for 346 yards with three touchdowns and a passer rating of 143.0 en route to winning NFC Offensive Player of the Week Honors.

Bradford, however, suffered an injury in that game to his knee and has missed four games since. He started at Chicago in Week 5 but re-aggravated the knee injury and was replaced by Case Keenum against the Bears.

Keenum has gone 2-2 in four starts, and his pristine relief work at Chicago helped Minnesota win in Soldier Field for just the second time since 2008. Keenum has completed 102 of 159 passes for 1,134 yards with five touchdowns and one interception for a passer rating of 93.1.

Bridgewater was evaluated by his surgeon on Monday and cleared to return to practice.

On Monday morning, Bridgewater simply tweeted "Thank you."

Because Bridgewater opened on the Physically Unable to Perform List, the Vikings will have a 21-day window in which they can evaluate the 2014 first-round pick before making a decision on his roster status.

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