The Minnesota Vikings are coming off an injury-played season that saw Teddy Bridgewater, Adrian Peterson and Matt Kalil play in a combined three games. It ultimately led to the team’s down fall after Minnesota started the season with a 5-0 record.
Now, as the Vikings prepare for what promises to be a drama-filled offseason, the major question mark is at quarterback.
Sam Bradford had himself a decent season in Bridgewater’s stead, throwing for 3,877 yards with 20 touchdowns and just five picks while breaking the modern NFL record for completion percentage. This has led to talk that Bradford will be Minnesota’s starter next season.
Mike Zimmer: "I think Sam has played great. I think he's earned the right to be the starting QB.''
— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) January 3, 2017
Of course, head coach Mike Zimmer’s comments were likely influenced by the holding pattern they are in with Bridgewater. The injury the former second-round pick suffered (torn ACL and dislocated knee) was about as bad as it gets (more on that here).
While Bridgewater’s rehab might be progressing along fine, Zimmer simply has no idea when his quarterback will return to the field.
“We don’t know when Teddy will be back,” Zimmer said on ESPN Sunday morning (h/t Pro Football Talk).
That’s most definitely not the news fans in the Twin Cities were hoping for. Without a timeline to return, there’s now questions regarding whether Bridgewater will be able to return in time for training camp. At the very least, we can’t expect him to be back for OTAs.
As Bradford readies himself for an $18 million payday next season, he seems to be a lock to start for the Vikings.
Meanwhile, Bridgewater is under contract for the 2017 season at just north of $2 million. The expectation here is that Minnesota will also pick up his option for the 2018 campaign, which is expected to be in the eight figures.