MINNEAPOLIS -- From his ranch in northern Kentucky, Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has been keeping close tabs on all of the developments surrounding his team. So yes, he's seen the video the team released of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater dropping back and throwing as part of his rehab from last year's devastating knee injury.
In fact, Zimmer has probably seen more video of Bridgewater than the brief clip the Vikings put out on Tuesday. And while the team's video -- which featured a slow-motion shot, set to highlight music, of Bridgewater dropping back and throwing -- didn't offer much context of where the quarterback is in his rehab, Zimmer's comments on Friday provided perhaps even greater reason for cautious optimism.
"I saw that tape, too," Zimmer said. "He’s throwing the ball well. He’s got good velocity, accurate. He’s working his rear end off. It just makes you proud for him. He’s still got a long ways to go. But he’s progressing as well as anybody could expect, I would think.”
Bridgewater's return from his Aug. 30 injury, which saw him dislocate his left knee and tear multiple ligaments (including his ACL), will be predicated on how stable the quarterback can be on his lead leg while throwing, and whether he can move well enough to protect himself in the pocket.
Those questions have yet to be answered, and given the timing of Bridgewater's injury, it still seems likely he begins the year on the physically unable to perform list while he continues his rehab at the start of the season. The Vikings' continued reluctance to offer a timetable for Bridgewater's return says plenty about the uncertainty of his recovery, and it would be wise to view his rehab through the lens of cautious optimism.
The quarterback doesn't appear to have had any setbacks in his bid to return, though, and as long as that remains the case, there could be a Bridgewater return somewhere on the horizon.