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NFL notes: Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater has ‘significant’ knee injury

Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer told reporters that quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s injury “doesn’t look good right now.” (Carlos Gonzalez / Associated Press)
Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer told reporters that quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s injury “doesn’t look good right now.” (Carlos Gonzalez / Associated Press)
Associated Press

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a “significant” knee injury in practice Tuesday and the team was awaiting tests to determine how long he might be out.

Coach Mike Zimmer confirmed the injury a few hours after an ambulance took Bridgewater from the practice field to a nearby hospital. There is no timetable on how long the third-year quarterback will be out. But when Zimmer was asked if he had any hope of Bridgewater being able to return sometime this season, the coach replied, “I don’t know. It doesn’t look good right now.”

Bridgewater dropped back to pass during a drill, planted his foot and immediately went down. He grabbed his left knee while concerned teammates and athletic trainers huddled around him.

Zimmer called off practice after 25 minutes, and the rest of the team walked off the field while Bridgewater was being attended to. Moments later, a siren-blaring ambulance pulled into the team’s headquarters, stayed for about 10 minutes and then pulled away with the quarterback in tow, his leg immobilized in an air cast.

“Teddy’s such a great kid,” Zimmer said. “I love this kid. Our fans love this kid.”

Zimmer said the team would release full details when it receives the results of tests done on Bridgewater’s leg.

Players were visibly distraught as they exited the field, some hurling expletives into the air. A small group remained behind, huddled around him in prayer as team athletic trainers tried to get him stabilized.

Zimmer tried to straddle a fence in his remarks between being concerned for Bridgewater, one of the most popular players on the team, and not allowing his players to give up on a season that has not even started. He addressed the team in full after practice was called off and said he had also spoken multiple times to Bridgewater’s mother.

“We’re not going to stick our heads in the sand, we’re not going to tuck our (tail between) our legs,” Zimmer said. “We’re not looking for excuses. We’re going to go out and fight like we always do.”

If Bridgewater is unable to return in a timely manner, there is little behind him on the depth chart. Shaun Hill is the primary backup, but he’s 36 years old and has played only sparingly over the last five years.

“I have confidence in Shaun,” Zimmer said. “I think he’s played great this preseason. He’s been in 2-minute drills. He’s done a phenomenal job.”

The Vikings were counting on Bridgewater to take some major steps forward after a promising start to his career. He helped lead the Vikings to the NFC North championship last season as more of a game manager, but Zimmer and offensive coordinator Norv Turner have said that they expected him to be much more of a playmaker in 2016.

Bridgewater missed the second preseason game with a sore shoulder, but was very sharp on Sunday against San Diego. He went 12 for 16 for 161 yards and a touchdown in two quarters of work, leaving Vikings players and fans fully confident as the team starts to prepare for the season opener at Tennessee on Sept. 11.

The Vikings host the Los Angeles Rams in their final preseason game Thursday night, though Bridgewater and most of the starters were not expected to play.

Seahawks cut Lewis, others

The Seattle Seahawks have released former starting center Patrick Lewis as part of roster moves to reach the mandatory 75-man limit.

The Seahawks also released running back Zac Brooks, a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft who was slowed by a hamstring injury and never got the needed carries to stand out.

Lewis started nine games for Seattle last year and was largely credited for stabilizing an offensive line that was shaky early in the season. But with the move of Justin Britt to center and the solid play of backup Joey Hunt in the preseason, Lewis became expendable.

Seattle also waived offensive lineman Kristjan Sokoli, and linebackers Pete Robertson and Quayshawn Nealy.

Additionally, the Seahawks waived/injured running back George Farmer, wide receiver Kevin Smith, defensive end Josh Shirley and defensive back Trovon Reed.

Bosa joins Chargers

Rookie defensive end Joey Bosa finally made it back onto the field for the San Diego Chargers after a long holdout.

From a fitness perspective, coach Mike McCoy said the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft looked fine.

“He looked as we expected,” McCoy said. “He was in shape and ready to roll. He looked the way he did when he left.”

Bosa missed 31 days and three preseason games during a nasty contract spat that included disagreement over payment of Bosa’s $17 million signing bonus and whether the contract would have offset language. Bosa said he’s capable of playing in the opener on Sept. 11 at the Kansas City Chiefs.

Around the league

The Patriots have placed RB Dion Lewis and tackle Sebastian Vollmer on the physically-unable-to-perform list, and released three additional players to meet the NFL’s 75-player roster limit. … Bills rookie LB Shaq Lawson will miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season. Buffalo placed Lawson on the PUP list as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery. … The Cowboys have placed QB Kellen Moore on season-ending injured reserve, eliminating the chance for him to return after breaking his right ankle in practice early in training camp. … The Redskins released four-year starting linebacker Perry Riley and defensive lineman Stephen Paea. … The Rams have terminated the contract of DL Quinton Coples while trimming their roster down to 75 players. Coples signed a two-year deal with the Rams in March after the former first-round pick spent his first four NFL seasons mostly with the New York Jets. … Dolphins DE Dion Jordan was placed on the reserve non-football injury list Tuesday, meaning he’s ineligible for the first six games of the season. … The Giants have re-signed OT Will Beatty just two days before their preseason finale against the New England Patriots. A second-round draft pick by New York in 2009, Beatty was released in February after missing the 2015 season with a pectoral muscle injury. … Coach Chip Kelly said that QB Colin Kaepernick will play in the 49ers’ preseason finale against the Chargers on Thursday in San Diego. Kaepernick, who has been widely criticized for sitting down during the national anthem, stated that he will sit again.

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