EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — As Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater continued to rehab his knee injury on Wednesday, another one of the team’s first-round picks sounded cautiously optimistic about his own chances of returning in 2017.
Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd did some work with the Vikings’ defense during an organized team activity practice, continuing his bid to return from a nerve issue in his right knee stemming from a surgery last September. Floyd, who played only one game last season, still wasn’t able to do any running, and said it was probably too early to say when he might be able to return.
Bridgewater, who dislocated his left knee and tore multiple ligaments (including his ACL) on a noncontact play last Aug. 30, still has not been cleared to practice, and the Vikings have not offered a timetable for his return. He was able to start throwing with the team during OTAs last week, and on Wednesday, with practice open to the media, Bridgewater rehabbed in public view for the first time since he was injured.
The 24-year-old quarterback worked on his dropback while attached to a rope held by a member of the team’s athletic training staff, and eventually threw about 20 passes with the team’s other quarterbacks during individual drills. After he lofted a 15-yard throw to the corner of the end zone, while horns sounded at the end of the individual period, Bridgewater thrust his arms above his head as a receiver hauled in the pass.
Floyd called the notion his injury might be career-ending a “rumor,” and sounded optimistic he’d be on the field at some point in 2017.
“It might be a little too early to say, but I feel like I’m going to be there,” Floyd said.
Both Bridgewater and Floyd are scheduled to become free agents after this season, in light of the differing decisions the Vikings made on each player’s fifth-year option.
Floyd, whose option was picked up last spring, is on the Vikings’ roster for a guaranteed $6.76 million this fall. The option was guaranteed for injury before the start of the league year and Floyd’s knee issues would have prevented the Vikings from cutting him.
Bridgewater’s uncertain status led the Vikings to not pick up his $12.2 million option for 2018 this spring, though his 2017 contract could toll if he starts the season on the physically unable to perform list and does not return in 2017.