Sam Bradford balled out in Week 1, throwing for 346 yards and three touchdowns in a win against the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. And even though Bradford hasn’t played since, because he has been nursing a knee injury that looked to be serious, he could make a triumphant return sooner than expected.
But first, it starts with practice:
Coach Zimmer anticipates that Sam Bradford will practice this afternoon.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) October 5, 2017
Bradford was expected to practice on Thursday, and Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press reports that head coach Mike Zimmer hasn’t ruled out the possibility of his return on Monday Night Football.
“If he’s ready to play, he’ll play,” Zimmer told reporters, sharing encouraging news for a team that has gone 1-2 in Bradford’s absence.
If Bradford doesn’t play, Case Keenum will start his fourth consecutive game.
Keenum threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns in a Week 3 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (the same team that stifled a Mike Glennon-led Bears attack in Week 2), but struggled in a 14-7 Week 4 loss against the Detroit Lions. In three games, Keenum has posted a 94.4 rating, averaged 251.7 passing yards per game, and has yet to throw an interception. Keenum is the kind of game-managing quarterback who, if armed with a strong running game, could maneuver his way to a win.
For what it’s worth, Bears head coach John Fox said he expected Bradford to start when asked about it earlier in the week. Adding Bradford to the mix would be a major boost to an offense that features Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, who Pro Football Focus has graded out to be the best and eighth best receivers this season. Bradford has posted a 102.0 quarterback rating in 17 games since joining the Vikings, so it’s not much of a stretch to believe he is a significant step up in talent from Keenum.
All things considered, the Bears should be prepared to face the Vikings best shot in prime-time.