NFL PLAYER NEWS

Vikings QB Bridgewater cleared to practice

The Sports Xchange

October 16, 2017 at 11:52 am.

Aug 28, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA;  Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) throws during the first quarter in a preseason game against the San Diego Chargers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 28, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) throws during the first quarter in a preseason game against the San Diego Chargers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who has not played or practiced since suffering a dislocated left knee and torn ACL more than 13 months ago, was cleared to return to practice, according to multiple reports Monday.

Bridgewater was cleared by the doctor who performed the surgery last year, a source with direct knowledge of the exam that the quarterback underwent Monday in Dallas told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

Dr. Dan Cooper, an orthopedic specialist who performed the major surgery on the dislocation on Sept. 9, 2016, examined Bridgewater on Monday morning and cleared him to begin practice on Wednesday, according to ESPN.

Bridgewater has been sidelined since being injured on Aug. 30, 2016, a week before the season. When he begins practicing, the Vikings will have three weeks to decide whether to add him to the active roster or keep him on the physically unable to perform list all year.

The 24-year-old Bridgewater, the Vikings’ 2014 first-round pick, is scheduled to become a free agent at the end of the season. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2015, when he passed for 3,231 yards and 14 touchdowns against nine interceptions.

The Vikings ruled out starting quarterback Sam Bradford for Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers due to a nagging left knee ailment, causing him to miss four of the past five games. Case Keenum has been starting in Bradford’s absence.

“I don’t think anything of (the Bradford and Bridgewater situations),” Keenum told the Pioneer Press after Sunday’s 23-10 win. “I’m playing quarterback and I love to play quarterback. … There’s a lot of externals in this business. … But I don’t have to answer that question. I can go out and play quarterback and have fun.”

Keenum, making his fourth start of the season, was 24-of-38 passing for 239 yards with a touchdown and an interception against the Packers.