By Larry Fitzgerald
November 7, 2017
Let me start a quarterback controversy. After all, does it really matter what I think anyway?
Sam Bradford is hurt. His left knee apparently has bothered him to the point that you feel like a fool asking questions of Mike Zimmer about his knee.
Since playing like the best quarterback in the NFL Monday night on opening weekend vs. the New Orleans Saints (29-19 Vikings), Bradford has been a mystery, throwing for 346 yards, three TDs, and completing 27-32. He’s started one game since that Monday night, played the first half against the Chicago Bears on October 9, again on Monday night, and did not play well. He looked stiff but helped the Vikings lead 3-2 at half.
Backup QB Case Keenum has guided this offense since taking over as Bradford’s replacement. The Vikings are 6-2, the second-best record in the NFL. They just had a week off with no game after traveling to London and beating the Cleveland Browns 36-16.
Teddy Bridgewater last played in January 2015 in the playoffs, lost to Seattle, and after nearly14 months came off the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list this week. The Vikings have until November 8 to use a roster spot and activate Bridgewater.
It’s not an easy decision for Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman, because the team is winning with Keenum and he’s playing so well. Team chemistry and all that goes with it is why the quarterback position is the hardest position to play in the NFL.
However, I don’t trust Bradford at this point. He was brought in to replace Bridgewater last year when he went down and has played well, but this year his knee injury tells me you can’t assume he will be back healthy playing this season.
On the other hand, Bridgewater is your guy. He’s healthy again. He can do all that needs to be done. He can throw, his mobility is good, he’s fresh, and he believes he can play now.
I love what Keenum is doing, and he should just keep playing. But if you believe Bridgewater is the best player for this team, I would play him now, because he gives the Vikings the best chance to continue what he started in 2015.
Sunday the Vikings travel to Washington. They beat Seattle 17-14. Blair Walsh — remember him? He missed three field goals in that loss.
The schedule is rugged with high-scoring 6-2 physical Los Angeles and playoff-tested teams like Carolina, Atlanta, Green Bay and Detroit ahead. I would roll the dice now. If Bridgewater is ready physically, he should play. I believe he is and should get his job back.
Stay tuned. We’ll soon see.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to email@example.com, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.