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NFL

NFL notebook: Vikings QB Bridgewater says he'll play this season

| Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, 9:24 p.m.

After nearly 14 months of arduous rehabilitation for his left knee, Teddy Bridgewater has arrived at the final stage.

For all the progress he has made, appearing in a game for the Vikings again will be no small step to take.

“I definitely believe I'll play this year, but I can't just sit here and say it,” Bridgewater said.

“I have to continue to put the work in on the practice field and show the training staff or the higher authority that eventually I can get back to the player that I was.”

Bridgewater spoke to reporters Thursday for the first time since the beginning of training camp and only the second time since he crumpled to the grass during a noncontact drill at practice Aug. 30, 2016.

He was cleared to rejoin the team Wednesday, another significant milestone in his recovery from the knee dislocation and multiple ligament tears that would end the career of many players.

“If that doesn't inspire you, I don't know what will,” wide receiver Stefon Diggs said.

Newton dodging questions

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton declined to talk to the media for the second day in a row, leaving the face of the Panthers franchise subject to a possible fine.

Players who fail to fulfill their media obligations are subject to discipline under the “conduct detrimental to the league” clause.

Panthers spokesman Steven Drummond said Newton did not give him a reason for skipping his weekly news conference, the first one Newton has missed when healthy during his six-plus seasons with the Panthers.

QB Winston to test shoulder

Jameis Winston said his injured right shoulder is “getting better every single day,” however the Tampa Bay quarterback still isn't throwing in practice. The Buccaneers said Winston will work with the first-team offense Friday.

Super Bowl tickets for free

The NFL is giving away 500 free tickets to the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl Ticket Giveaway will be a nationwide initiative. Beginning this week and continuing throughout the season, fans will be surprised during tailgates, or at stadiums, and even at their homes.

Extra points

Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette said his ankle feels good and he “most definitely” will be healthy enough to play Sunday at Indianapolis. ... Jets running back Bilal Powell is expected to play at Miami on Sunday after practicing fully for the first time since straining a calf muscle nearly two weeks ago.

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