EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has resumed throwing with his sore shoulder.Coach Mike Zimmer has kept up his silence about Bridgewaters status.Bridgewater threw a few dozen short and medium-length passes in practice Tuesday, for the first time in front of reporters in a week. He didnt play in the preseason game at Seattle, and Zimmer has refused to discuss the injury. ESPN.com previously reported the shoulder problem, which Zimmer didnt confirm or deny.I told you guys when I first got here I would try to be as transparent and honest as I can. I will be, but there are certain things that Im not going to tell you, and if he had an issue with his shoulder then Im going to make sure that I err on the side of caution, Zimmer said. Because if I played him and he got hurt, you guys would be killing me in the press. So Im always going to protect the players. Im going to do what I think is best for the organization, and youre going to have to respect that.The curt, lecturing tone was aimed at the media members gathered for his post-practice news conference, but the irritant for Zimmer could well be rooted in concern about the health and depth of his quarterbacks.Bridgewater was in full pads during weekend practices, but he didnt attempt any passes. Backup Shaun Hill was also held out of those workouts, before returning to action Tuesday. Taylor Heinicke, the third-stringer last year, has been on the non-football injury list because of a severed tendon in his left foot. He was spotted Tuesday without a walking boot for the first time since training camp began.Undrafted rookie Joel Staves production as a passer at Wisconsin was unremarkable, but hed been taking turns with the first team in recent days. Brad Sorenson was signed Saturday to give the Vikings another arm, but he didnt even have his name sewn onto the back of his red jersey yet.This was originally slated as an off day for the players, but Zimmer switched the schedule to give them a break on Monday instead.I felt like the team was tired and they needed some time to get away, he said.The Vikings host San Diego on Sunday, the first game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Zimmer dismissed the importance of getting Bridgewater some snaps to stay sharp.Hes played an awful lot of games, Zimmer said. Its not like hes a first-year rookie.The offense would only benefit from Bridgewaters presence, though, and vice versa.We look to him as our leader, but we know that in this league with injury, people are not going to be out there sometimes, wide receiver Charles Johnson said. So we have guys on our offensive side and defensive side who have to step up and maintain that leadership role.Albeit a position of far less significance, tight ends are in ample supply for the Vikings.Rhett Ellison returned to action Tuesday for the first time since tearing the patellar tendon in his right knee in the last game of the 2015 regular season. He was a little ahead of schedule on his rehabilitation. With Kyle Rudolph, Mycole Pruitt and rookie David Morgan, theres a probability the Vikings will keep four tight ends on the 53-man roster once its established Sept. 3.Rhetts worked extremely hard, Zimmer said. Rhett is a great kid, team guy through and through. Its nice to get him back on the field.---Online:AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL coverage on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFLCheap Air Max 95 Ireland . 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If ever they start actually putting pictures beside words in the dictionary, the Blue Jays left-handers mug will appear beside “Consistency.CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina improved enough defensively last season to edge Pittsburgh on the way to winning an Atlantic Coast Conference division championship.Roughly a year later, its unclear if the Tar Heels are capable of doing it again.The teams that finished 1-2 atop the Coastal Division meet in their league openers Saturday, with the Tar Heels facing the familiar challenge of trying to hold up physically against the Panthers pounding ground game. But unlike last year -- when the Tar Heels defense went from awful to adequate -- that unit doesnt enter the game with many positives.Theyre coming off a performance coordinator Gene Chizik described as soft.Soft defense is a choice, and thats the choice we made, Chizik said. Weve got to improve this week or this game could get ugly.UNC (2-1) ranks 106th nationally against the run (226.7) and allows 28 points per game. That includes last weekends 56-28 win against James Madison in which the Championship Subdivision team scored touchdowns on its first three drives, while both Chizik and head coach Larry Fedora later noted they didnt remember the Tar Heels making a good defensive play until the second quarter.Pitt (2-1) is ranked 21st nationally in rushing (239 yards per game), with tailback James Conner cracking the 100-yard mark in each of the past two games. Two years ago, Pitt ran for 305 yards at UNC -- Conner had 220 yards and four touchdowns -- but the Tar Heels held Pitt to 153 in last years 26-19 road win while Conner was out recovering from a knee injury and being treated for lymphoma.Pitt has its own defensive concerns after allowing 640 yards in a loss at Oklahoma State.After a loss last week, I think we respond well to adversity, Panthers defensive end Ejuan Price said, and were not thinking so much about redemption but about getting on the track.---Some other things to know about Saturdays Pittsburgh-North Carolina matchup:TRUBISKYS ROLL: UNC quarterback Mitch Trubisky enters with momentum. He completed 24 of 27 passes for a career-high 432 yards last week. That included setting a single-game program record by completing his last 18 passes. He enters this one with a progrram-record 156 throws without an interception.dddddddddddd And hes coming off a game when he finally connected on the deep ball.PITTS PASS DEFENSE: The Panthers were especially vulnerable to the pass last week, surrendering 541 yards through the air -- including a national-best 296 yards receiving by James Washington. So how will Pitt handle UNCs attack if Trubisky is connecting with deep threat Mack Hollins or receiver Ryan Switzer? Fundamentally you have to play with good technique, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said. Thats what we try to play at every position on the field. You better play good technique when youre playing against great wide receivers.PETERMAN PROGRESSING: Narduzzi is quick to defend quarterback Nate Peterman, who passed for a season-high 237 yards against Oklahoma State with a touchdown and an interception while completing less than 50 percent of his passes (14 of 29). Narduzzi said Peterman has played above average the last two weeks, adding: If he continues to do that, we will be fine.DEFENSIVE HEALTH: UNC has been shorthanded on the defensive line, but could be close to full strength. Two-year starter Dajaun Drennon practiced fully this week after missing the first three games with an undisclosed injury and could play, while junior tackle Naz Jones is listed atop the depth chart after missing last week with an apparent concussion.FRIENDLY RIVALS: Conner and Switzer have struck up a friendship over the years, with Switzer even paying tribute to Conner last fall after the 2014 ACC player was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma by writing #ConnerStrong on his cleats before the 2015 ACC title game.That friendship takes a breather as Conner and the Panthers try to snap a three-game series skid. Hes one of my better friends, Conner said of Switzer, but I know he wants to take some kicks back on us.---AP Sports Writer Will Graves in Pittsburgh contributed to this report.---Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap and the APs college football site at http://collegefootball.ap.org ' ' '