Vikings Have Big Worries at Quarterback
Here are four media reports about Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford’s injury condition prior to the team’s 26-9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Plus, there’s one from just before game time and another one from this week.
9/15 — Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford is listed as questionable with a knee injury, but is expected to play.
9/15 — [The Vikings] stopped short of guaranteeing that he’ll be playing against the Steelers this Sunday. Bradford is listed as questionable, although it seems more probable than not that he’ll be playing this weekend
9/16 — The Vikings signed quarterback Kyle Sloter to the active roster on Saturday with starter Sam Bradford listed as questionable to play Sunday in Pittsburgh.
9/17 (early) — The Minnesota Vikings are listing Sam Bradford as questionable to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2… Bradford is dealing with a knee injury that required an MRI this week… but it doesn’t sound like the injury is anything that severe. It was enough to have him limited in all three practices this week.
9/17 (approaching game time) — Quarterback Sam Bradford is inactive Sunday with a knee injury, leaving Case Keenum to fill in as starter.
9/18 — Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford (knee) is expected to return in week 3 after a one-week absence, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. Rapoport reported “the ACL is fine, the other ligaments are fine, this really was just a swelling and discomfort issue from taking a shot to his knee last week.”
What to believe? All I believe is that when the Vikings signed Kyle Sloter and put him on the active roster on Saturday, that telegraphed that Bradford would not play.
I don’t know what to believe about reports that Bradford is fine for the home game against the Buccaneers next weekend. The Packers play the Vikings in Minnesota on October 15.
As for the trepidation Vikings fans must be having, this is the same knee in which Bradford suffered a grade 3 ACL tear, and missed the last nine games of 2013. It’s also the same knee, and the same injury, he had in the preseason of 2014, causing him to miss that entire season.
Bradford’s health history also includes 15 missed games as a collegian in 2009 due to a shoulder AC joint sprain, and a pedal ankle sprain/pull which caused him to miss 10 games for the Rams in 2011.
How were the Vikings able to acquire a near-top-tier quarterback when QB Teddy Bridgewater suffered a season-ending ACL tear during team practice on August 30, 2016? Due to his injury history, that’s how.
When Bradford Goes Down
Bradford’s health is a ticking time bomb. When he inevitably succumbs to a multi-game injury, next up is Case Keenum. He went undrafted in 2012. Minnesota is his fourth team. His lifetime quarterback rating is under 80 and his completion percentage is under 60. He’s not elusive and isn’t a running threat. He’s thrown almost as many interceptions as touchdowns (24-20).
Though he’s started 24 games spread over the last four years, Keenum has not progressed or advanced a bit. In his first action as a Viking on Sunday, he averaged only 4.5 yards per attempt and, about as expected, had a mid-60s passer rating.
As to Bridgewater, on September 2 Minnesota put him on its PUP list, costing him at least about half of this season. More likely though, Bridgewater might well miss his second entire season following a horrifying preseason ACL and knee dislocation injury.
And I thought the Packers had an injury crisis!