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Teddy Bridgewater's Spirits Remain High Post-Surgery

Teddy Bridgewater's teammates have raved about the quarterback's positivity since he suffered a season-ending knee injury nearly two weeks ago. Viking Update's Tim Yotter caught up with Kyle Rudolph, who said Bridgewater's spirits remain high after **undergoing successful surgery last Thursday**.

Yotter described Bridgewater as "positive post-surgery."

"I talked to him [Thursday], just to check on him and see how he was doing," Rudolph told Yotter. "Once again, just in great spirits and extremely optimistic about really beginning the process of rehabbing, getting back to the guy he was before.

"I texted him during the day [Thursday] and he got back to me (Thursday) night," Rudolph added. "I was expecting him to be a little down. He just had a big-time deal and there he is, just like, 'I'm great!' It's just like, 'Oh my [gosh], this kid never stops.' But that's the attitude he's always got, and that's kind of the mindset he's taken from Day 1."

Rudolph said he's encouraged Bridgewater to be around the locker room and his teammates as often as possible, over and above his time in the training room for rehab. The tight end, who's been through extended injury-rehab processes himself, said he found it important to remain close to team activities whenever possible.

According to Rudolph, he told Bridgewater the following: "You've got to take care of your business. We understand. But the more you're around, the more you feel you're still a part of it, the better. Because you are, and you'll play a big part of our success this year."

Hill, Vikings fulfill request texted by Teddy

Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press asked [Shaun Hillinternal-link-placeholder-0] about a text message he received from Bridgewater before Minnesota opened at Tennessee with a 25-16 victory.

*The message read, "Bring home a W.'' *

*Hill, the starter after Bridgewater was lost for season Aug. 30 with a knee injury suffered in practice, was hardly spectacular, but was solid. Leading a low-risk attack, he did enough for Minnesota's defense to win the game. *

"I thought Shaun did well,'' said Vikings coach Mike Zimmer. "One of the things I told him going into the ballgame was you don't have to be anybody else. You just have to be yourself and that is good enough to win.''

Zimmer did not announce on Sunday whether he intends to start Hill or Sam Bradford on Sunday against the Packers.

Why Sam Bradford could fit well in Minnesota's offense

While Hill started over Bradford at Tennessee yesterday, ESPN's KC Joyner said that trading for Bradford just over a week ago was a great move for the Vikings and one that "turns the Vikings into viable Super Bowl contenders."

Joyner said there are a number of reasons that Bradford will **fit well into Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner’s offense**, including his vertical pass-game production.* *

After fighting off injury rust in the first half of the 2015 season, Bradford posted a league-leading 15.1 yards per attempt (YPA) mark on vertical passes (aerials thrown 11 or more yards downfield) from Weeks 9-17. This was not a half-season anomaly for Bradford, as he finished tied for sixth in vertical YPA (12.5) during the 2013 season if pass-penalty plays such as pass interference are factored into the equation.

Joyner pointed out that Bradford's stats were accomplished without star receivers, and that the young receiving corps in Minnesota could help the quarterback improve those numbers even more. He also said that Bradford should do well with the Vikings high-caliber rushing offense and that he's effective in ball protection. Joyner wrote:

[T]his is by far the most talented team Bradford has ever played for. This combination means the Vikings have a legitimate chance to mimic [the] 1980 Raiders and come out of nowhere to win a Super Bowl.



Andrew Sendejo's in tandem with Harrison Smith

With safety Andrew Sendejo poised to be the 2016 starter opposite Harrison Smith, Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune said the tandem will work closely together. According to Krammer, a high level of play from Sendejo will **expand what Smith is able to do on defense**.

In 2015, the Vikings defense ranked 11th in passing touchdowns allowed and 12th in yards allowed per game.

To improve, the coaching staff has stressed Sendejo's growth in coverage, specifically when he's playing center fielder while Smith is near the line of scrimmage, according to defensive backs coach Jerry Gray.

"Being in the middle of the field, what are you doing when you're reading the quarterback?" Gray told Krammer. "And those are one of the things we really, really made a stress on. Covering tight ends, he can do that. He can go and stop the run, but when you're in the middle of the field, what do you expect?"

Gray added: "[Smith] can be really good close to the line of scrimmage. And I think he can be really good back."

Should the Vikings be comfortable leaving Sendejo by himself in the back of the defense, Smith could do more of what he does best — play robber, cover bigger targets and demolish ball carriers. Either way, they like their chances with Smith in any spot.

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