The quarterback carousel for the Minnesota Vikings continues to spin.
To clear a spot on the roster, the Vikings moved opening day starter Sam Bradford to injured reserve. Bradford reportedly had a knee scope yesterday supervised by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews. ESPN’s Courtney Cronin reported that there was no structural damage, with the problem stemming from inflammation.
After an outstanding week 1 performance, Bradford hadn’t played since week 5 against the Chicago Bears, where he struggled physically through the first half and was ultimately replaced by backup Case Keenum. Bradford’s history of knee injuries puts his future as an NFL player in doubt, especially since he’s in the final year of his current contract.
Meanwhile, Bridgewater missed the entire 2016 season to rehab from a torn ACL and a dislocated kneecap on a non-contact play in practice. He’s been practicing with the team for the last three weeks, however, and has suffered no setbacks during his recovery.
Reports from the team indicate that Keenum will remain the starting QB for now, with Bridgewater and undrafted rookie Kyle Sloter serving as the reserves. Keenum has been decent but unspectacular in 2017; he’s thrown 7 touchdowns to 3 interceptions with a passer rating of 88.8, and his Pro Football Focus grade of 77.6 ranks 17th amongst all QBs, right around league average.
The Vikings are 6-2 at the moment, good for first in the NFC North and tied for second in the NFC overall with the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. Their defense has largely been the catalyst for their success this season, so Keenum could conceivably stay as the starter if he keeps up his current level of play.
Still, Bridgewater has a better long-term outlook, despite the Vikings declining the option for the fifth year on his rookie contract. It might be a better idea to push him back to action when he’s ready for it.