Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph said he’s making progress after sports hernia surgery last week. He was in the Vikings locker room on Monday, a week into the recovery process after sitting out on Sunday in the team’s 41-28 victory over the Falcons at TCF Bank Stadium.
Rudolph said the injury initially bothered him during the first week of training camp. There was a tear in the abdominal muscle away from the pelvis, Rudolph said, that he felt on the right side. During the procedure, Rudolph said they went ahead and fixed both sides.
“I’m glad that I was able to get them fixed, move forward and be healthy for this push to the playoffs,” Rudolph said. “I think everybody saw that we have something special going on here yesterday. Me personally watching on TV, I want to get back as soon as possible because I want to be a part of this.”
The Vikings training staff exhausted all their options before deciding on surgery. Rudolph said he’d received treatment throughout the week but felt it wasn’t getting any better on Mondays after games. The Vikings opted not to place him on injured reserve with a designation to return, sidelining him for eight weeks. Rudolph said the training staff believes he can return in five weeks.
It’s the second straight season Rudolph will miss a considerable amount of time due to injury. He was placed on injured reserve last year, playing just eight games after breaking his foot.
“There’s nothing worse than being hurt,” Rudolph said. “When you’re not able to be out there with your teammates, and you’re either watching from the side or watching on tv, it’s hard. At the same time, I knew this was necessary because we tried everything we could to avoid it. I had to get it fixed.
Rudolph received a five-year extension worth $36.5 million in August.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said he’s hopeful rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will play on Thursday against the Packers at Lambeau Field.
Bridgewater had an MRI on his sprained ankle right after the game, which Zimmer said came back clean.
“He’s doing a lot better today, so we’ll see,” Zimmer said.
The rookie suffered the ankle injury on a 3rd and goal quarterback scramble from the 2 in the fourth quarter. He remained in the game on 4th and goal but was carted to the locker room during the next offensive series. Christian Ponder replaced Bridgewater and finished the game, sealing the Vikings 41-28 victory over the Falcons at TCF Bank Stadium. Bridgewater returned to the sideline later in the fourth, but he didn’t return in the game.
Bridgewater was impressive in his first career start, going 19 of 30 for 317 yards. He’s only the second quarterback in NFL history to throw for 300 yards without an interception in his first start. Bridgewater also had five carries for 27 yards, including a 13-yard run for his first career touchdown.
“I’ve been saying it for a long time watching him practice and in the preseason games, he just gets the ball out and throws a nice, tight ball,” Zimmer said. “He’s accurate, makes quick decisions.”
The Twins announced Monday that they will replace Ron Gardenhire as manager. The entire coaching staff has been let go, and the team will conduct both an internal and external search for a new manager.
Our natural temptation after watching Teddy Bridgewater throw for 317 yards and rush for a TD in his first start Sunday — helping the Vikings to a 41-28 victory in which they amassed the fourth-most yards in team history — was to compare him to Daunte Culpepper.
Daunte was the last young Vikings QB to make that kind of a splash in his debut; Tarvaris Jackson certainly didn’t do it, and even though Christian Ponder did have flashes in his first start against Green Bay, you never looked at him and said, “This is the future, no doubt.”
We were at that first Culpepper game — in the Dome, circa 2000, against the Bears — when he ran for three touchdowns and led a 30-27 comeback victory.
What we didn’t remember is that Culpepper’s passing numbers for the day were pretty ordinary: 13 of 23, 190 yards, no TD passes and one INT. His 13 carries for 73 yards and three TDs were huge, of course, but in our memory for some reason his passing day was better.
We dare say Bridgewater was even better than that against the Falcons, which is saying a lot: 19 for 30, 317 yards, no turnovers, and some key scrambles. More than just the raw numbers, he was composed in the face of adversity. While he benefited from tremendous line play and a fantastic running game, Bridgewater also had to overcome a massive momentum swing when the Falcons took a 28-27 lead.
Bridgewater missed a key deep ball to Jarius Wright, but on what proved to be his final drive he calmly marched the Vikings down the field for a score that gave them the lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
A lot of Bridgewater’s early work came on short passes — the kind of throws that inflated Ponder’s numbers in 2012, when he had Percy Harvin to turn 2-yard gains into more. But he finished the day 8 for 12 for 163 yards on passes that traveled at least 10 yards.
We lobbied hard for the Vikings to draft Johnny Manziel (not that it mattered what we thought, but our Johnny Football love was well-documented). One start will not define the inevitable comparisons between Manziel and Bridgewater, but at least for now the Vikings (and their fans) have to feel very good about the decision.
Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater isn’t sure about his status for Thursday’s Week 5 matchup against the Packers, but he felt he could’ve returned in the 41-28 victory over the Falcons on Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium.
The Vikings said Bridgewater suffered a sprained ankle and will get an MRI on Sunday. He sprained his ankle in the fourth quarter on a 3rd and goal quarterback sneak from the 2-yard line. He remained in the game on 4th and goal, but Bridgewater was carted to the locker room as quarterback Christian Ponder took the field on the next offensive series.
Bridgewater returned to the sideline after x-rays came back negative and showed no structural damage.
“I’m going to spend as much time as I can with [head athletic trainer] Eric Sugarman and the training staff that we have here,” Bridgewater said. “That will be a decision that they can make.”
Bridgewater said he suffered the injury trying to make a cut and rolled his ankle in a non-contact injury. Ponder finished the game with the Vikings holding a comfortable two-score lead once Bridgewater returned to the sideline.
In his first career start, Bridgewater went 19 of 30 for 317 yards. He also had five carries for 27 yards, including a 13-yard run for his first career NFL touchdown.
“Everything just came naturally as far as the offense and the system that we have here,” Bridgewater said. “The guys did a great job of understanding the terminology and the concepts that we wanted to run today. It’s just a great team effort.”
First of all, Teddy Bridgewater was everything we pretty much said he was capable of being when we did our Sunday story on him today. He keeps a calm head about him and is careful with the ball. That’s two great traits for a rookie making his first NFL start.
However, if I had to hand out an MVP trophy for this one, I’d split it into five parts and give it to the offensive linemen. We all spent the week raising our eyebrows at Matt Kalil and questioning Vladimir Ducasse as a long-term solution at right guard. But the line played so well, that Bridgewater wasn’t sacked and was barely pressured throughout the night. And that fourth-and-goal call at the 1 at the end of the game? That was an easy call because the line was dominating, as evidenced by the 241 yards rushing it had on 44 carries (5.5).
Defensively, there were some concerns about the same old issue of not getting off the field on third down. But when the Falcons went ahead 28-27, the Vikings’ defense shut things down on the top-ranked offense in the league. That was impressive.