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The Minnesota Vikings have done their best to conceal their plans for Teddy Bridgewater on Thursday night, either because they truly don't know whether the rookie will be able to play on a sprained ankle at Lambeau Field or because they don't want the Green Bay Packers to know which quarterback they'll be facing. But by the middle of Thursday afternoon, the Vikings might have to tip their hand somewhat.
Here's why: If Christian Ponder is going to start, it stands to reason the Vikings would plan to deactivate Bridgewater and put a healthy backup QB on the roster; they likely wouldn't want to sit him at the start of the game, only to have to put him in if Ponder got hurt. If they were going to elevate one of their two practice squad quarterbacks -- McLeod Bethel-Thompson or Chandler Harnish -- to their active roster, they'd have to make a roster move by 4 p.m. ET on Thursday.
If the Vikings add a third quarterback to their 53-man roster tomorrow, it doesn't necessarily mean that Ponder will start and Bridgewater won't; the Vikings might just be trying to cover themselves in case they decide before the game that Bridgewater can't go. But if the Vikings don't make a move tomorrow afternoon, keeping Bridgewater and Ponder as the only quarterbacks on their active roster, it would seem to indicate Bridgewater will start.
Hopefully this will all be resolved cleanly on Thursday. We're still having flashbacks of the last time we were in this situation before a prime-time game at Lambeau Field -- in a game where the Vikings bowed out of the playoffs with Joe Webb lobbing passes while in the grasp of Packers defenders.
In case you missed it on ESPN.com:
The Vikings officially declared Bridgewater questionable for Thursday's game, with coach Mike Zimmer telling SiriusXM Radio that the Vikings will see how Bridgewater is doing on Thursday.
Best of the rest:
Captain Munnerlyn has grown accustomed to the unique challenges of the slot cornerback position, writes Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Andrew Krammer of 1500ESPN.com breaks down five things to watch during Thursday's game.
The Vikings' rookies are stepping into big roles early in their first seasons, says Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.