Whether the Vikings have Sam Bradford in uniform for their first playoff game Sunday remains to be seen. But if they wanted to use the quarterback who beat the Saints in Week 1 in their rematch with New Orleans, they'd be able to do so.
The Vikings activated Bradford from injured reserve Saturday, adding him to their 53-man roster a day before their NFC divisional playoff game with the Saints. Bradford, who completed 27 of 32 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings' season-opening win over New Orleans, twisted his left knee in the game and missed the team's next three games before making a truncated return on Oct. 9 against the Bears.
Bradford hasn't played in a game since then, and he went on injured reserve Nov. 8 after having his third operation on his left knee the day before. He returned to practice last week, but coach Mike Zimmer said Friday he had not made a decision about whether to add Bradford to the active roster, while refuting a Boston Globe report that the Vikings would bring Bradford back.
Asked on Friday if Bradford was ready to play in a game, Zimmer said, "I think so." When asked to assess Bradford's progress, Zimmer said, "It's kind of hard to judge with five practices. He's working in, but he's got a way to go still."
Sources told the Star Tribune on Friday that Teddy Bridgewater is expected to be backup to quarterback to Case Keenum on Sunday. Bradford dressing for the game would not necessarily mean he would play ahead of Bridgewater, and it would be a significant step if the Vikings were to put him on their 46-man active roster for the game. The last time they dressed three QBs for a game was on Nov. 7, 2013, while Leslie Frazier was the head coach for a game against Washington.
Bradford, Bridgewater and Case Keenum are all scheduled to become free agents after the season, and Bradford's return to health could help his case if he hits the open market in March.
To clear a roster spot, the Vikings waived tight end Kyle Carter.