Coach Mike Zimmer told Fox Sports during the weekend that the Vikings aren’t ruling out QB Teddy Bridgewater returning in 2017.
“There’s a possibility he could get back this year,” Zimmer said. General manager Rick Spiel
man recently told Pro Football Weekly that Bridgewater’s situation — he remains on the physically unable to perform list with a knee injury, and if he’s there after Week 6, his contract could toll and give Minnesota another year of control — has forced him to plan proactively with huge quarterback decisions looming as soon as next offseason.
“We’re planning ahead for the 2018 roster, and even 2019. Not only at the quarterback, but the whole roster,” Spielman said.
The aggressive planning yielded contract extensions for three core defenders — DL Linval
Joseph and Everson Griffen and CB Xavier Rhodes — but it sounds like Minnesota will wait to see how its quarterback situation with starter Sam Bradford and Bridgewater plays out.
Rookie watch: Minnesota appears close to settling on thirdrounder Pat Elflein as the starting center. “I guess the thing I like the most about him is he’s able to finish blocks,” Zimmer said. … Fourth-round DT Jaleel John
son is enjoying a position switch. “He’s gotten a lot more reps at the three technique the last couple of weeks … and he really has played well in the two previous preseason games,” defensive coordinator
George Edwards said of Johnson, a frequent behind-the-line tackler this preseason.
Noteworthy: RB Latavius Murray has impressed coaches with his blocking and catching ability since returning to practice after offseason ankle surgery. … Minnesota has received an extended look at second-year S Jayron Kearse with starter
Andrew Sendejo out with an undisclosed injury. “He’s done an excellent job in the box,” Edwards said. The challenge for the safety remains operating in space.