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Bradford returns to practice with playoff-bound Vikings

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford returned to practice on Tuesday, two months after a cleanup surgery on his left knee.

Bradford, who led the Vikings to a season-opening win over New Orleans before experiencing pain in the twice-repaired joint, had the latest procedure done on Nov. 7. He was placed on injured reserve the following day, so the team could activate Teddy Bridgewater from the physically unable to perform list. This was the first week Bradford was eligible to resume practicing with the team.

"Sam was out there slinging it, like he always is, so I'm pumped for him to get back," said Case Keenum, who took over for Bradford and helped lead the team to a 13-3 record.

The Vikings, who have a first-round bye and open the postseason at home on Jan. 14, now have up to three weeks to decide whether to put Bradford back on the active roster for the playoffs. Bridgewater and Kyle Sloter are the current backups to Keenum.

"We'll just see how it goes and where it's at," coach Mike Zimmer said. "I'm not committed to say he's going to play, so we'll just see how things go. Things could happen. We win a game, someone gets hurt. You never know what could happen."

The Vikings held five players back in practice on Tuesday, during the portion open to reporters: Tight end Kyle Rudolph (ankle), fullback C.J. Ham (neck), cornerback Xavier Rhodes (undisclosed), backup safety Anthony Harris (undisclosed) and backup defensive tackle Shamar Stephen (ankle).

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Updated January 2, 2018

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