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Vikings QB Sam Bradford remains limited at practice

Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford remained only a limited participant at the team’s final practice Saturday, Oct. 7, before their Monday night game, casting doubt over whether he can return to the lineup following a knee injury suffered Sept. 11 that has kept him out of the Vikings’ past three games. Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

CHICAGO — Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford remained only a limited participant at the team's final practice Saturday, Oct. 7, before their Monday night, Oct. 9, game, casting doubt over whether he can return to the lineup following a knee injury suffered Sept. 11 that has kept him out of the Vikings' past three games.

Head coach Mike Zimmer remained coy when discussing his injured starting quarterback, only saying that Bradford looks, "good" and, "we'll see" whether he can play Monday against the Chicago Bears.

If Bradford can't play, Case Keenum, who has thrown for three touchdowns and 755 yards this season, will get the start again.

This was the first week that Bradford appeared at all three of the team's practices since suffering the knee injury.

On Friday,Bradford told reporters, "I feel good.

"(If I) make it through (Saturday), I think that's key for me being able to go out there and play at a high level," Bradford said Friday.

After the team's practice Saturday, Zimmer said that he's not any more confident that Bradford will play Monday than he was after the first practice of the week Thursday.

"Not really," Zimmer said.

The head coach did joke that he may consult a crystal ball given to him by an Edina-based psychic to see whether Bradford will start.

"It's in-depth," Zimmer cracked of the crystal ball. "I'm afraid to look into it sometimes (and) see an ugly face looking back."

If Bradford is unable to play Sunday, he'll have a short week to return when the Vikings turn around from Monday night's game to host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Oct. 15.

Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur indicated Bradford wouldn't need many practices to be ready to play again.

"He's really involved in everything that goes on behind the scenes," Shurmur said.

Keenum's three games in place of Bradford have been a mixed bag.

His first start yielded only 167 passing yards as the Vikings fell to 1-1 with a 26-9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Back at home in Week 3, Keenum had arguably the best game of his career, throwing for a career-high 369 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But last week, Keenum completed only 53 percent of his 30 passes for 219 yards and no touchdowns in a 14-7 loss to the Detroit Lions.

Earlier this week, Zimmer said that the determining factor in Bradford's playing status is pain management.

Thursday, Bradford confirmed that, but cast doubt as to whether his injury would fully heal by the end of the season.

"It was comforting knowing that if things go according to plan, it should be something that eventually goes away," he said. "I would like it to be 100 percent, but at this point I don't even know if that's possible until the bye week or the end of the year."

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