Teddy Bridgewater may be the quarterback of the future for the Minnesota Vikings – but he’s not the quarterback of the right now.
On Wednesday, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer announced that he’s sticking with Case Keenum as the team’s starter, leaving Bridgewater, who has made an amazing comeback after a devastating knee injury in August 2016, on the bench.
It’s hard to argue with Zimmer on this one: after Sam Bradford suffered what has turned out to be a season-ending knee injury in Week 1 (Bradford tried to play in Week 5 but bowed out before halftime), Keenum has stepped in and led the Vikings to a 5-2 record as starter.
And he’s having a career year: after Sunday’s 38-30 win over Washington, Keenum’s completion mark sits at 64.9 percent, with 11 touchdowns against five interceptions. Four of his touchdowns came last week, to four receivers, as he connected on 21-of-29 attempts for 304 yards and staked the Vikings to an 18-point lead in the third quarter.
Keenum did have two second-half interceptions, one of them leading to a touchdown for Washington.
Zimmer didn’t shed a lot of light on the decision during his news conference, saying “it was part of it” when asked if Sunday’s performance sealed his decision, and that the deliberations were “not difficult.”
He did affirm that Bridgewater is ready to play in a game; “otherwise he wouldn’t dress,” Zimmer said.
But will we see Bridgewater this season? The quarterback was overcome with emotion on Sunday, when he was back in uniform for the first time since his injury, which happened during a training camp practice. Bridgewater has acknowledged that initial fears were that he could lose his leg; damage included a torn ACL and dislocated kneecap.
Undrafted out of Houston in 2012, Keenum has been a spot starter for the Texans and Rams before signing with Minnesota this year. He did start nine games for Los Angeles last year, completing 60.9 percent of his passes with nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer tweeted that the Vikings were “very tempted” to tap Bridgewater to start this week because he is their franchise, but are standing pat.
Minnesota is 7-2 overall and has a comfortable lead over Green Bay and Detroit, both 5-4, in the division. Sometimes, when it ain’t broke, there’s no need to fix it.
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