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Teddy Bridgewater Throws During OTAs, Full Recovery Still Far Off Full view

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 10: Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the Minnesota Vikings drops back in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at TCFBank Stadium on January 10, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Teddy Bridgewater Throws During OTAs, Full Recovery Still Far Off

A little less than a year removed from suffering a horrific knee injury, beloved Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater ran drills with his team during the fifth day of OTAs. While a full return to the field is still far off in the future, Wednesday’s practice is a good sign for Bridgewater’s continuing rehabilitation.

Bridgewater worked on his drop-back while tied to a resistance band held by one of the team’s trainers, threw to receivers, and participated in other team drills with several Viking’s quarterbacks on Wednesday. He threw roughly 20 passes.

While it wasn’t Bridgewater’s first time throwing since his injury, it was his first time performing on-field drills in front of reporters.

The quarterback was in high spirits, joking with the press about teammate Latavius Murray’s slow recovery from his leg injury, according to the Minnesota Star-Tribune.

Coaches and teammates alike were happy to have their boyish and earnest leader back on the field.

“When you’ve seen a guy working his rear end off, it makes you proud for him for the work that he’s put in,” head coach Mike Zimmer told the Star-Tribune. “He’s progressing as well as anybody could have expected, I think.”

Bridgewater injured his left knee during an August practice last summer. The non-contact injury turned out to be a complete tear of his ACL, including severe damage to multiple ligaments through out his knee. While it was initially believed that he would miss the entirety of the 2017 season, that timetable is looking less and less likely.

In his absence, the Vikings traded for quarterback Sam Bradford, who spurred the team to a quick 5-0 record to start the 2016 season. The team went on to lose their next four games, finishing the year with a mediocre 8-8 record.

Bridgewater, who was drafted by the Vikings with the last pick of the first round in the 2014 NFL Draft, played his first full season in 2015, throwing for 3,231 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also lead his team to the playoffs that year, although they lost in the first round to the Seahawks, who were, at the time, the reigning conference champions.

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Written by Jacob Kaye