Vikings former first-round pick Teddy Bridgewater, who suffered a gruesome knee injury prior to the start of the 2016 season, continues to make major strides in his recovery from surgery and remains on track to begin practicing next week, league sources said. Bridgewater continues to do more work on his own and is slated to come off the Physically Unable to Perform list after Week 6, when he is first eligible to do so, and begin practicing with the Vikings, sources said.

Bridgewater will obviously need significant practice time to round into shape given the extent of his injury and the length of his layoff, but he is in great spirits and has been enthused by the progress he has made the past few months. Bridgewater has received clearance from doctors each step of the way and there have been no recent setbacks in his recovery, sources said, and every reason to anticipate him being activated off the PUP list following the Vikings' Week 6 game. He is expected to be reviewed by the doctors once more prior to officially being activated off the PUP list.

Once a player is activated off the PUP list (clubs have until Week 11 to do so), teams have a three-week window to evaluate them. If a player is to return to the active roster for that season, he must be activated at that point, otherwise he remains on PUP for the remainder of the season. The Vikings' plan is to have Bridgewater in their quarterback mix in the second half of the season.

Starter Sam Bradford, who was acquired in a blockbuster trade once Bridgewater was injured, has missed the past few games but is getting closer to returning for Monday night's game in Chicago from a knee injury. Case Keenum has been the starter in the interim.

Bridgewater, 24, was selected in the first round in 2014 and went to the Pro Bowl in 2015. He started all 16 games that season after making 12 starts as a rookie and seemed poised to blossom as Minnesota's franchise quarterback prior to the complex knee injury he suffered during a training camp practice in the summer of 2016.