Sam Bradford is one of the most injury prone quarterbacks in the NFL. Somehow, the Arizona Cardinals still have faith in him to be their starter.
When Sam Bradford is healthy, he can look like one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Unfortunately, he’s also one of the most brittle players in the league. That’s what makes Arizona’s confident statements about him serving as their starting quarterback this season so confounding.
Cardinals coach Steve Wilks doesn’t hedge one bit about who he believes will be under center Week 1. He told NFL Live that the former Oklahoma Sooner will be the “first guy out there.” In fairness to Wilks, he also said that rookie Josh Rosen would have an opportunity to win the job in training camp.
Even if Rosen doesn’t outplay Bradford in preseason, it’s a safe bet he’ll get his opportunity to lead the Cardinals offense sooner rather than later. Relying on Bradford to stay healthy for an entire NFL season just isn’t a good bet. There’s a reason Minnesota was happy to let him take his talents to the desert.
The good feeling about Bradford aren’t just limited to the Cardinals coaching staff. Last month, starting running back David Johnson went on the record with his belief that the Arizona offense could be the top group in the NFL. At least the talented running back had the presence of mind to say that would only happen if Bradford could stay healthy for the entire year.
The cold reality is that we’re just one hit away from the beginning of the Rosen era in Arizona. The organization clearly realizes that. That’s why it spent a top 10 pick to acquire the former UCLA signal-caller. Drafting him wasn’t just a move for the future, it was a potential solution for the present as well.
Even if Rosen is pressed into duty, the Cardinals offense has a chance to be successful. Larry Fitzgerald isn’t the player he once was, but he can still make an errant quarterback look good. The aforementioned David Johnson is an above average NFL running back. The line also has some promising pieces, led by talented left tackle D.J. Humphries. It may be a year too early to expect Rosen to flourish, but stranger things have happened.
Bradford may start the year as Arizona’s starting quarterback but the odds are firmly against him finishing the year in that capacity. The Cardinals can talk all they want about their faith in Bradford, but the Rosen era is near.