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Teddy Bridgewater’s not practicing yet, but he’s close to rejoining the Vikings

Teddy Bridgewater was back on the practice field as part of his rehab, but he still isn’t fully cleared to participate.

Minnesota Vikings Rookie Minicamp Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Teddy Bridgewater’s road to recovery from a devastating knee injury that cost him the entire 2016 season reached another milestone Tuesday when the Minnesota Vikings quarterback hit the practice field with his teammates during the team’s first Organized Team Activity (OTA) of the offseason.

It wasn’t quite a practice for Bridgewater, who still hasn’t been cleared by a doctor. But he was back on the field dropping back and throwing as part of his rehab — albeit with a bulky brace on his left leg.

While Bridgewater was not at the practice session Wednesday due to a scheduled doctor appointment, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman told reporters that the team released video of the quarterback Tuesday to dispel concerns about the recovery.

The week became even more encouraging for the Vikings and Bridgewater when the doctor appointment showed good signs for his recovery.

Bridgewater went down in a training camp practice in August of 2016, suffering a torn ACL and dislocated knee. Shortly thereafter, the Vikings traded a first-round pick to acquire Sam Bradford, who led the team to an 8-8 record.

Both Bridgewater and Bradford have contracts set to expire following the 2017 season after the Vikings opted not to pick up the fifth-year option on Bridgewater’s deal.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer wasn’t at practice to talk about Bridgewater as Zimmer is recovering from his eighth eye surgery. But he did speak optimistically about the quarterback in March — one day after Bridgewater posted video of himself throwing on a practice field.

Bridgewater was a first-round pick in 2014 and threw 28 touchdowns with 21 interceptions in two seasons as the team’s starter before going down with an injury. Now he’s getting closer than ever to rejoining the Vikings in practice.