Teddy Bridgewater’s playing status will be decided very close to game time.
NFL.com has reported that the Minnesota Vikings will wait until approximately 90 minutes before game time to decide whether Bridgewater’s left ankle is healed enough to play against the Green Bay Packers on Lambeau Field Thursday night.
Bridgewater, in his rookie season out of Louisville, helped the Vikings beat the Falcons on Sunday, 41-28. However, he was carted off the field in the fourth quarter after sustaining a left ankle injury. Bridgewater did not practice Monday or Tuesday and was in limited practice on Wednesday.
After Wednesday’s practice Bridgewater was listed as questionable, but Bridgewater still wants to play. He has insisted, however, that he will abide by the medical staff’s decision. The medical staff wants to make sure he doesn’t suffer further injury with so much of the season left.
According to CBS Sports, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer doesn’t want Bridgewater to risk further injury to the left ankle on a short work week, so Bridgewater may sit. If Bridgewater is declared ineligible for Thursday against the Packers, Christian Ponder will take the helm of the Vikings’ offense.
ESPN.com is reporting that the Vikings may want to rethink that strategy. If Bridgewater has to sit out, they’ll want to deactivate him for the game, bring up Ponder, and keep Bridgewater ineligible for the game so he can heal better. If they do not deactivate Bridgewater and start Ponder, and Ponder gets injured, they risk the chance of Bridgewater further injuring his left ankle, or sustaining another injury.
The Vikings do have a couple of other options. They can sign a free-agent quarterback to back up either quarterback but if a quarterback is signed, it would seem likely that Bridgewater would sit out. The Vikings can also put one of their two practice squad quarterbacks–McLeod Bethel-Thompson or Chandler Harnish–on the active roster to back up Ponder. If no move is made, then your quarterbacks are Bridgewater and Ponder. So at some point, the Vikings will have to tip their hand to what they want to do.
This decision comes at a bad time for the Vikings. Minnesota has already had to replace Adrian Peterson (indefinitely deactivated while being investigated for child abuse charges) and starting tight end Kyle Rudolph (out six weeks for a groin injury). The Vikings have shown signs of progress though, as they are currently 2-2 in the NFC Northern Division, 1 game behind the Detroit Lions for the division lead. The Packers, Bears, and Vikings are tied at 2-2.
[Image courtesy of Lone Cadaver]