Bridgewater has been ready 'since the day he walked in'

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Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer didn't flinch when asked Wednesday if Teddy Bridgewater is ready to make his first NFL start this week against the Atlanta Falcons.

"He’s ready," Zimmer said of Bridgewater, according to the Star Tribune. "Honestly, I think he’s been ready since the day he walked in. So, I’m good."

This week's opponent, the Atlanta Falcons, will take the rookie quarterback seriously. Falcons coach Mike Nolan told ESPN that rookies are harder to plan for because their tendencies haven't been defined.

With Cassel out, former starter Christian Ponder is now just one snap away from replacing Bridgewater as the starter. Is that reason to be alarmed? Not if you ask the Vikings coaching staff.

Rudolph back sooner than later?

Good news for tight end Kyle Rudolph, who underwent sports hernia surgery on Tuesday to fix an abdominal injury. Zimmer said they won't need to put him on injured reserve with a designation to return because he'll be back in fewer than eight weeks.

“We’re hopeful that he’ll be back soon,” Zimmer said. “We’re anticipating it’s not going to be [eight weeks].”

Kalil hasn't played poorly

Aside from a handful of plays each game, left tackle Matt Kalil has been pretty good. That's what Zimmer says, anyway.

“For 93 percent of the game, he plays pretty good. But unfortunately, the three or four bad plays he has show up and guys get on him,” Zimmer said, defending his starting lineman. “So I’m not that discouraged as everybody else is. We’ll just try to get those four bad plays out of there and keep going.”

On Tuesday, the Pioneer Press noted that Kalil was worst left tackle in the NFL through three games, based on the stats Pro Football Focus gathered. Back in August, Zimmer made it a point to warn media and fans to take Pro Football Focus with a "grain of salt."

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