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Bradford likely to start for Vikings tonight

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford. Brad Rempel / USA TODAY Sports

CHICAGO — Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford apparently will return to the lineup Monday night against Chicago after missing three games with a knee injury.

ESPN reported that Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer told the network’s Monday Night Football crew in a production meeting Sunday, Oct. 8, he “anticipates” Bradford will start in the nationally televised game at Soldier Field.

Bradford hurt his left knee Sept. 11 on Monday Night Football against New Orleans, but didn’t come out of the game. He was replaced the past three games by backup Case Keenum, and the Vikings went 1-2.

Also, CBS reported Sunday that injured quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is due to come off the physically unable-to-perform list next week, when he is first eligible, and begin practicing. It has been expected that Bridgewater, barring a setback, would be able to practice after the sixth game, which is when he is first allowed to come off the PUP list.

Bridgewater suffered a torn ACL in August 2016 and hasn’t played since. Once he returns to practice, the Vikings would have a three-week window to decide whether to activate him or place him go on injured reserve for the rest of the season.

The Vikings already have three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster in Bradford, Keenum and Kyle Sloter. Whenever Bridgewater might be ready to play, they would need to make a roster decision on how many quarterbacks to carry. 

Bradford opened the season against the Saints by completing 27 of 32 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns in a 29-19 win. He was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

“That’s probably the best I’ve ever seen Sam play,’’ Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden said in a phone interview last Thursday.

It appears Gruden will get another chance Monday to see Bradford.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.

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