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Teddy Bridgewater's progress surprises Mike Zimmer in his return

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater goes through a resistance drill at Vikings practice on Tuesday. AP Photo/Jim Mone

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- While Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was able to pore over film of the team's practices during the two weeks of organized team activities he missed while recovering from eye surgery, he didn't get much of a sense of how quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was doing in rehab from his knee injury.

So when Zimmer returned to the team's practice facility on Monday for the final week of Vikings OTAs, Bridgewater's progress caught him off-guard to some degree.

"Sometimes, when you see a guy every day, you don't notice the progress that he's made," Zimmer said. "I'm gone for two weeks, and obviously, he's not on the tape. I come back yesterday, and I said, 'Wow, Teddy looks [like] he's moving better,' and quite a bit better, in my opinion."

Bridgewater was able to get more work in the Vikings' team drills during Tuesday's open practice, dropping back and lofting a long pass for Isaac Fruechte during individual drills. He's still a long way from returning, and has yet to be cleared by doctors to practice, but the Vikings sound a bit more hopeful about Bridgewater's progress with each passing week.

"I think he's happy with the progress. He's very impatient about wanting to get out there and go, but we have to do what's in the best interests of him in the long run. In the end, the final say is going to be the doctors, when they say he's good to go. They gave him the green light to do a little bit more stuff on the side, as you saw today. It's just going to continue to take time."