By Nick Shook
Read full post on NFL.com
Ah, there’s nothing quite like a head coach playing coy about his starting quarterback.
Count Mike Zimmer among those choosing to reveal his man on game day. But unlike past situations, this one might be out of necessity.
When franchise quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was lost for the season with a torn ACL and dislocated knee, Minnesota reacted quickly by sending first- and fourth-round picks to Philadelphia for Sam Bradford. Teams don’t trade first-round picks for players they aren’t planning to start, so common sense says Bradford will be under center Sunday. But he’s only had a few days to learn Minnesota’s offense.
In a league that often produces playbooks thicker than phone books at the peak of nationwide landline usage, processing that much information and committing it to memory in less than a week’s time — and physically applying it on the highest level of football known to man — is a monumental, if not impossible task. It’s likely the Vikings‘ staff has cut down the playbook for Bradford, initially. It’s also probable the staff is closely monitoring his progress and, as a result, will choose to decide whether the newest No. 8 in purple should be the man leading the Vikings‘ offense come Sunday in Nashville.
If Bradford isn’t ready to go, journeyman backup Shaun Hill will play. He was the expected starter by default after Bridgewater went down, and before general manager Rick Spielman made the gutsy call to deal for Bradford. But short preparation window or not, it would be shocking if Bradford wasn’t the starter against the Titans.