image courtesy of Vikings.com

The long-anticipated return of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is upon us.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported Sunday morning that the Minnesota Vikings will activate Bridgewater when the team returns from its bye week. The plan is for Bridgewater to be in uniform for the Week 10 matchup against the Washington Redskins.

Bridgewater has not suited up for regular season action since the final week of the 2015 season when the Vikings defeated the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field for the 2015 NFC North title. Bridgewater suffered a horrific knee injury 14 months ago that kept him sidelined for all of 2016 and half of 2017.

The 2014 first-round pick returned to practice a couple of weeks ago. NFL rules state that players listed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list to start the season must remain there for the first six weeks of the season. Teams then have a three-week period to evaluate the player’s health and decide whether to place him on injured reserve or activate him to the 53-man roster.

La Canfora’s report says Bridgewater will return “in full” this week. The report also says “there are no immediate plans to change course now” at quarterback.

Case Keenum has done a fine job filling in for Minnesota’s other talented and injured former first-round quarterback Sam Bradford. The Vikings have won four straight games and sit at 6-2, atop the NFC North standings, under Keenum’s leadership. Could the Vikings make a change at the most important position on the team while in the midst of a four-game winning streak?

Mike Zimmer’s press conferences offer little to no hints, not that he has ever been the type of coach to unnecessarily tip his hand anyway.

Minnesota’s quarterback situation is a freaking circus each and every year, and this is just another chapter. It’s important to remember that Bradford isn’t completely out of the fold just yet. His status is still anyone’s guess. He could be ready next week or he could be sent to the injured reserve to make room for Bridgewater on the roster. Nobody really knows.

But one thing we do know, at least according to La Canfora, is that Bridgewater is back. And it’s a good bet that he’ll play at some point this season, which is unbelievable in itself.

When Teddy Bridgewater does take over the offense again, whenever that may be, his supporting cast will be substantially better than when he last played in 2015. The scheme, the offensive line, the receivers, the backfield versatility, the defense, you name it — everything around Bridgewater is upgraded from 2015. And by the way, the Vikings finished 11-5 and won the NFC North in 2015.

If Bridgewater’s mere return to the roster doesn’t get you excited, that should.