CHARLOTTE – Quarterback ?Teddy Bridgewater? and running back ?Christian McCaffrey? walked into practice wearing matching red jerseys Wednesday, but their immediate outlooks aren’t the same.
Any question about Bridgewater’s status for his return to Minnesota was cleared up by the fact he was a full participant in practice, while head coach Matt Rhule said McCaffrey wasn’t expected to face the Vikings this week, as he eases back from a shoulder injury.
McCaffrey was listed as a limited participant in practice Wednesday. He missed six games earlier this season with an ankle injury and the last two with the shoulder.
“He got out there, he moved around, he’s making progress,” Rhule said of his running back. “So as soon as he’s ready to play, we’ll play him. As soon as he’s full-go, we’ll put him out there, and (as soon as) he feels confident, and the medical people feel confident, we’ll put him out there.”
Bridgewater obviously felt confident for this week after lobbying to play against the Lions on Sunday before Rhule decided to park him and let backup ?P.J. Walker? lead the way.
“At the end of the day, the coaching staff, the organization did what’s best for me,” Bridgewater said. “Me being a competitor, of course you want to be out there competing with your guys. But I’m feeling good. It’s always tough being on the sideline when you have that urge, that fire lit underneath you.
“But I was just happy for P.J. to get out there, man. You follow P.J.’s story, from the time he was in college to his journey through the NFL and XFL, for him to go out and lead us to a victory was a special moment. I was extremely proud of him and the team, everyone played well for one another and we came up with a victory.”
As for the rest of the injury report, cornerback ?Donte Jackson? (toe) and offensive lineman ?Dennis Daley? (concussion) did not practice. Linebacker ?Tahir Whitehead?(ribs) was there but wearing a green non-contact jersey, though he was listed as a full participant.
Left tackle ?Russell Okung? (calf) and right guard ?John Miller? (knee/ankle) were back on the field after missing last week, and they were limited participants.
Getting them back on the field would be a big boost for Bridgewater’s return, as being shorthanded on the line could have been a factor in last week’s decision not to push the quarterback.
Six players were listed as full participants, including Bridgewater and Whitehead, fullback ?Alex Armah? (ankle), safety ?Sam Franklin? (ankle), defensive end ?Marquis Haynes? (shoulder), and wide receiver ?DJ Moore? (shoulder).