Vikings fans are back in a familiar position with Sam Bradford’s latest injury — Hoping for a miracle.
The day began with Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer declaring starting quarterback Sam Bradford out for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That was bad enough, knowing Bradford was going to miss his second straight missed game. The culprit? The same left knee injury that kept Bradford out of last Sunday’s game versus Pittsburgh.
But then, things got even worse.
Amid Zimmer’s vague description of Bradford’s knee situation, the scope of the quarterback’s injury was unknown. Although he practiced, Bradford was limited and didn’t appear to be comfortable throwing. The injury, according to Bradford, occurred during the Viking’s Week 1 win against the New Orleans Saints. It was a non-contact injury, one that resulted from a “twisted knee.”
For the second straight week, Bradford’s knee did not respond well in practice. He missed Friday’s workouts after reporting to team personnel that he felt a pronounced pain in his knee, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
It was originally thought the knee would not require surgery, but this optimistic notion is now clouded in doubt and pessimism. To get a clearer picture of what’s going on with his twice-repaired left knee, Bradford left Friday to visit orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews, who not-so-coincidentally performed his previous two ACL repairs.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport broke down the situation in greater depth on Friday afternoon:
Sam Bradford is ruled OUT for Sunday and did not practice today.
He is waiting a second opinion on the bone bruise
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) September 22, 2017
As Bradford awaits the doctor’s opinion on his knee, the Vikings will start backup quarterback Case Keenum this Sunday against the Buccaneers. This will be Keenum’s second straight start, and his first at U.S. Bank Stadium. The 29 year-old did not play well last week against the Steelers, going 20-of-37 for 167 yards with zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. New practice squad call-up Kyle Sloter will be his backup.
Depending on Dr. James Andrews’ results, the Vikings could be in the market for a quarterback. Bradford’s timetable to return remains unknown.
After a promising start to the season for both Bradford and the Vikings, the future of the quarterback position in Minnesota is once again up in the air — and it’s a feeling fans have become all too familiar with.