Expect Bridgewater to be activated soon, but not start right away

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 28: Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the Minnesota Vikings warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers on August 28, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 28: Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the Minnesota Vikings warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers on August 28, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The quarterback is expected to be activated by the Minnesota Vikings sometime within the next week after recovering from a brutal knee injury.

It has been more than 14 months since Teddy Bridgewater last suited up for an actual game as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. After suffering a dislocated knee in 2016, some thought the quarterback’s chances to return to the field were slim at best.

But here we are, just a few days from the moment Bridgewater is expected to be added to the Vikings’ regular season active roster for the first time since 2015. The quarterback has put in countless hours of rehab and all his hard work will pay off when he scrambles out of the pocket for the very first time and runs past defenders for a first down.

That will be an amazing sight to see, but don’t expect that to happen anytime soon. While Minnesota is expected to activate Bridgewater sometime within the next week, moving him back into the starting lineup is a whole other situation.

(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /

For the Vikings’ Week 10 matchup on the road against the Washington Redskins, Bridgewater as the second-string quarterback makes the most sense. Case Keenum has done a decent job as the starter for most of the season and it does not seem necessary to demote him as soon as Bridgewater is activated.

Two or three games as Minnesota’s backup seems like the best case scenario for the team’s young quarterback. So when would be a good time for the Vikings to have Bridgewater return to the starting lineup?

Minnesota’s Thanksgiving matchup with a weak Detroit Lions pass defense in Week 12 could be when the Vikings choose to put their 2014 first-round draft pick back starting under center. Or Minnesota could opt to start him the following week in Atlanta versus the Falcons after three-extra days to prepare due to their Thursday game against the Lions.

 Embed from Getty Images

Bridgewater making his first start back any later than Week 13 doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Especially how convinced he and his coach have been recently about the quarterback playing again this year.

If the Vikings want Bridgewater to be their starter for a possible playoff run, then he is going to need more than four starts in the regular season to prepare for such a task. It isn’t really fair to the quarterback for Minnesota to expect him to lead them to a spot in the Super Bowl with only four regular season games to prepare.

For those wondering if the Vikings should even consider starting Bridgewater this season if Keenum continues to help the team win, it seems like the team’s goal is to get Bridgewater back on the field no matter how well Keenum plays.

Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings /

Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota reportedly views Bridgewater as their franchise quarterback according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. If this is truly the case, then the Vikings are not going to keep him on the bench for awhile once he is activated.

The thing about Keenum that seems to be giving some people the wrong impression is the fact that Minnesota has been winning with him as their starter. But let’s get one thing straight, Keenum is not the main reason the Vikings have been successful this season (he’s not even the third or fourth reason).

But what about in Week 5 when Keenum replaced a statuesque Sam Bradford in the second half to help Minnesota get a victory over the Chicago Bears? This example is not even fair for Keenum, as he was replacing a quarterback in Bradford’s who probably would not have been able to outplay Bud Grant that night. And we’re talking Grant at his current age, not back in the day.

Keenum has performed just as the backup that he is this season. Nothing more, nothing less.

Next: Three Vikings named to Midseason All-Pro team

As much as some may not view Bridgewater as a franchise quarterback, that is not how the Vikings currently see him. So don’t expect them to keep their franchise wasting time as a backup for very long.