Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford opened some eyes in Week 1, throwing for 346 yards, three touchdowns, and posting a quarterback rating of 143.0 in the team’s season-opening win against the New Orleans Saints.
But for the second straight week, Bradford has been ruled out because of a knee injury – one that has the quarterback requesting a second opinion from the doctor who performed his first two surgeries. ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports Bradford’s knee “didn’t respond well” in practices leading up to the Vikings’ Week 3 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The injury will lead to the Vikings turning to Case Keenum, who started in last week’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Remember, Minnesota turned to Bradford when Teddy Bridgewater went down with a knee injury last year. Bridgewater is currently on injured reserve, but could return to the gridiron after missing the first eight games of the season if deemed healthy by doctors. If Bradford is sidelined for a significant amount of time, that would leave Keenum and Kyle Sloter – who faced the Bears in the preseason as a member of the Denver Broncos – as the only active quarterbacks serving as a bridge until Bridgewater is healthy enough to return and play well.
As for Keenum’s Vikings debut, things didn’t go great as he completed 20 of 37 passes (54.1%) and gained just 167 yards in his spot start. Keenum owns a 77.8 quarterback rating in 27 career games and his teams are 9-16 when he starts.
The Bears will face the Vikings in 17 days. It feels like that game is a bit down the road, but knee injuries don’t tend to heal in the span of two weeks. And the Vikings shouldn’t rush anything with Bradford either, considering he’s already had two ACL operations. It’s likely Keenum will be starting when the two teams square off on October 9 on the primetime stage of Monday Night Football.