Heading into Sunday’s Divisional Round game, the Minnesota Vikings intend to have Sam Bradford in uniform.
The Minnesota Vikings earned a first round bye during the regular season, and quarterback Case Keenum is firmly in place as the starter for as far they go in the playoffs. But who would be No. 2 on the depth chart for Sunday’s Divisional Round game against the New Orleans Saints became a question with Sam Bradford returning to practice last week.
According to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe on Friday morning, the Vikings plan to have Bradford in uniform on Sunday. Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press followed up with no commitment from head coach Mike Zimmer, other than to confirm Bradford is healthy enough to play.
Bradford was last seen in a game Week 5 against the Chicago Bears, as he appeared nowhere near 100 percent healthy with a lingering left knee injury. He started and barely lasted the first half, before Keenum took over.
Bradford had a solid season over 15 starts for the Vikings in 2016, setting a league record by completing 71.6 percent of his passes. He followed that up with the best game of his career Week 1 against the Saints, as he went 27-for-32 for 346 yards and three touchdowns. But naturally, when you consider his career, Bradford came out of the season opener with a sore knee and has barely been seen since.
The Vikings probably won’t have three quarterbacks active on Sunday. So Teddy Bridgewater looks to be the odd man out, assuming Bradford is indeed active.
Vikings fans surely will feel like Bridgewater, as he has since returning to practice in October, should continue operating as Keenum’s backup. But that conveniently ignores the fact Bradford has played a meaningful football game in the last two years, unlike Bridgewater since his major knee injury late in the 2016 preseason.
Bradford also had success against the Saints way back in Week 1. If Keenum is injured, or starts Sunday’s game incredibly poorly, the former No. 1 overall pick is the better fill-in option.