By Nick Shook
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Bradford underwent an MRI and hasn’t suffered a new injury, Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman told members of the local media on Tuesday, per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Bradford is dealing with what Sugarman called knee wear and tear related to his two previous surgeries.
Bradford was visibly limited while playing on Monday night against Chicago before leaving due to the knee issue. Sugarman told reporters the Vikings did not put the quarterback at risk in allowing him to play, and wouldn’t speculate on how long Bradford might be out. Based on how Bradford looked before his exit, there’s a good chance Case Keenum makes another start at quarterback for Minnesota on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
In a other quarterback news, Teddy Bridgewater will be re-evaluated on Monday, according to Sugarman. Bridgewater has been relegated to the physically unable to perform list since the start of the season due to his continued recovery from last year’s major knee injury, but is eligible to return after Week 6.
Mike Zimmer later told reporters he believes Bridgewater will play at some point this season, “but he hasn’t been on the field yet so it’s hard to say”
It might not sound like it, but it appears we are now approaching a crossroads for the franchise. Bradford is in the last year of his contract, as is Bridgewater after the Vikings declined to use their fifth-year option on the former Louisville star. Both now have serious injury histories, though Bradford’s is longer and more concerning. Bradford is also five years older than Bridgewater, but was surprisingly scintillating in Week 1 before the knee issue arose.
If Bridgewater is cleared to play and shows he can return near the form he displayed before his injury, the Vikings will have a tough decision on their hands between he and Bradford this offseason. The team will likely only sign one in 2018. If Bridgewater is effective, Minnesota also has a reason for renewed optimism in 2017, even though Keenum has been more than serviceable in relief.
This situation is fluid with plenty of uncertain factors and is definitely worth monitoring. Whether Bradford can get healthy enough to play could go a very long way toward making this a difficult or easy call for GM Rick Spielman and Co.