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Zulgad: Sorry, Mike, but questions about Sam Bradford are only getting started

In the aftermath of the Vikings’ 26-9 loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday, Mike Zimmer was asked what had him the most upset or angry. “I’m not angry or upset,” he told reporters. “I’m just tired of these questions about Sam. Sam’s fine.”

I’ve got bad news for the Vikings coach.

First, the questions are only starting when it comes to Sam Bradford’s health, and second, his starting quarterback appears to be anything but fine after being unable to play Sunday because of reported swelling and cartilage issues in his twice-surgically repaired left knee.

Ultimately fielding questions from curious reporters might be the least of Zimmer’s worries.

That became obvious late in Sunday’s game, when Fox aired footage of Bradford attempting to see how much work he could do hours before Sunday’s kickoff. The 29-year-old Bradford moved as if he was 40 years older than his listed age.

That was why he couldn’t play against the Steelers – his replacement, Case Keenum, went 20 of 37 for 167 yards with a 65.9 passer rating – and why it’s not certain if Bradford will be able to go next Sunday against Tampa Bay at U.S. Bank Stadium.

“He might play one game from now, he might play six weeks from now,” Zimmer said. “Either way, he’s fine.”

What Zimmer failed to do was provide his definition of fine. Is Bradford going to live a long and productive life? That type of fine? We all hope so and have no reason to think that won’t be the case. But is Bradford’s knee fine? And is he going to have a productive 2017 season?

That has to be called into question after soreness in Bradford’s left knee became so severe last week, following his brilliant performance in a season-opening victory over New Orleans, that he underwent an MRI and then was limited in practice.

The initial thought after seeing Bradford’s name on the injury report was that he must have tweaked his knee against the Saints. Certainly, no one hit he took stood out. But it became clear that this was more than a minor issue on Friday when ESPN reported that Bradford was dealing with swelling, pain and discomfort.

Bradford tore the ACL in his left knee in the seventh game of the 2013 season and did not return until training camp the following year. He then re-injured the same ligament in a 2014 exhibition game and did not play again until 2015.

It sounds as if Bradford isn’t dealing with a re-injury to the ACL, but rather the wear and tear on his knee is catching up with him. Fox’s Jay Glazer reported Sunday morning that this isn’t going to be a one-week issue.

We at least have a much better idea of why Bradford nor the Vikings ever mentioned the potential for a contract extension this offseason, despite the fact the veteran is going into the final season of his deal. While no one from either side would have ever brought this up publicly, doctors probably cautioned the primary participants that this could be on the horizon.

As the news that Bradford would be inactive for Sunday’s game was being discussed by talking heads, it was interesting that the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Teddy Bridgewater expects to be ready to return by the middle of the season and that the Vikings’ website posted Rapoport’s report.

Bridgewater is coming off a severe, non-contact knee injury suffered just before last season and has opened 2017 on the physically-unable-to-perform list. He must spend the first six weeks of the year on the PUP.

One would think the Vikings will take no chances with putting Bridgewater back on the field a moment before he’s ready and that, if anything, they will err on the side of caution.

That means that if Bradford’s knee continues to bother him – the issue is you can’t play him if he can’t protect himself by moving around — there’s a good chance that Keenum will be the Vikings’ starter for much of 2017.

That’s not exactly the recipe for making the playoffs, but quarterback adversity is nothing new at Winter Park. Neither is the head coach being in a foul mood because of it.

  • David Prestin

    And I can’t imagine a bigger clown to write about the Vikings’ woes. All with a smile on your face. I feel bad commenting as it gives your crap a click stat due to reading your poop. I’m amazed you waited till after the game to get this on site. Course it was probably written last night and you added the quotes today. Enquire quality stuff.

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  • Wilbur One

    So the Vikings lose a game they weren’t meant to win under the circumstances , and the local writers revert to full media jackal. Their fists are pumping chests at the prospects of a take down while their insides rot from self delusion. Can’t wait to see the maggots on their faces.

  • Matt

    It’s so funny to me how stupid the media is. One week the Vikings are SB contenders and the next they want Zim’s head on a stick because he doesn’t have an answer to their most important question. “Coach why can’t you predict the future and tell us when Sam will be back???”

    How is he suppose to know when he”ll be back? The doctors can’t even read his MRI. “Sam is fine” isn’t a good enough answer? Sorry he makes your job so much harder because he gave you no content to write about. Boohoo, now all you writers have to spend an extra hour tonight coming up with content on your own to write about so you can get your articles done. Looks like all of you went with the idea of slamming the coach for not giving you any info. Way to go. Go ahead and pat yourselves on the back for your great work. Wish I could find an article about the game and not the press conference. I believe Zim that Sam will be fine and us fans and the team are on to the TB game. Goodnight.

    • Wilbur One

      Thanks for saying what really needed to be said.

  • Andre Esters

    I suppose the drama was gonna come sooner or later, why not let the jokers yuck it up Week 2 after a fantastic opening… not thrilled about the usual unfair circumstances, but if the Vikings need to overcome adversity this season, I rather them take the chin shots now and have things sorted out at least by mid-season.

    Then again, this is the Vikings… its a week to week tooth pulling, who knows what this mad house will look like by mid-season.

  • Jason Wisniewski

    The overreaction is strong here in this article. Yeah we all want to know whats going on for sure, but it sounds like a sore knee that acted up and this type of thing is week to week. Good chance he’ll play vs Tampa Bay but perhaps it will take another week or 2 tops. Zimmer said next game or 6 games out of frustration I am sure. MRI was negative and the issue does not require surgery.

  • Trump 2020

    Garbage like this, with your elitist attitude is why people hate the media, and you, trying to stir up something because you suck at your job and root for the Vikings to do poorly. You’re also a loser, as are most of you from the Twin Cities area except Paul Allen and a few others. Fake news

  • brian199511

    If Bradford doesn’t go the kid we picked up out of Denver, Kyle Sloter, is the guy we need at QB. Bridgewater’s knee injury is far worse than either of Bradford’s and he did it in a non-contact practice all by himself. Plus he wasn’t that good before the injury. Hope Bradford recovers, groom Sloter and draft Luke Falk at the next draft. Probably get him in the 2nd and he will be better than the guys drafted before him.

    • Gordon Guffey

      I cant speak about Falk because I haven’t see him play ~ But I agree its time to think healthy QB even if he sets behind Bradford for a year or two ~

      • brian199511

        Falk, who has a not very good head coach in my opinion, has set records and passes accurately with teams that are not that good. 3-0 this year and the test is in two weeks with #18 WSU hosting #3 USC. He has led the NCAA in passing for two years but because he plays in Pullman no one sees him. He will be underdrafted because of that fact.

    • Brian Smith

      Sloter deserves a shot. He was awesome in Denver’s preseason.

  • Gordon Guffey

    Zimmer said Bradford will be fine and he is the starting QB ~ Thats good news ~

  • Gordon Guffey

    Bradford, who missed the Week Two contest with a knee injury no one knew he’d suffered until he was limited in practice on Wednesday, is day-to-day. His knee is also, per the source, “structurally fine.”

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/09/17/sam-bradford-is-day-to-day-for-however-many-days-it-takes/

  • cka2nd

    What a bunch of whiny little snowflakes some of you – not named Gordon or Andre or Brian, or even Jason – are. “Mommy, the mean reporter isn’t being a total homer for my team! Waaaah! He’s being Mr. Negative and not stroking my sensitive soul.” Why don’t you all go smoke some weed so you can chill out for a while.

    • Gordon Guffey

      One question ~ Is that weed any good ~ LOL ~ Smiley Face 🙂

    • Wilbur One

      Here’s how it works: The coach hates losing and he’s in a foul mood, so he pushes back at the false premises lurking behind the medias questions. The writers (who hate losing) push back at the coaches view that challenges their false claim of holding a higher moral authority. The fans (who also hate to lose) immediately recognize the media’s delusions of grandeur and challenge the media’s views. So IMHO, you can take all the local media, stretch them end to end, and they’d never reach a rational conclusion.
      This is the way it’s meant to be and signifies that all is well and good in Vikings world.

      • cka2nd

        Believe me, I can be as critical of reporters as anyone, but the constant charges that Zulgad is a Packers fan, just reaching for clicks or only writing negatively about the team – or claiming for himself a “higher moral authority” (huh?) – is tiresome, especially since Zulgad doesn’t, in my opinion, at least, hold a candle to a real egomaniac like Mike Lupica.

  • Matt Slife

    Judd…you were adopted.

  • JonasGrumby

    This station needs to drive web traffic with stories like this since few (1.1 rating) listen to the station.

  • Finchy74

    I realize Zimmer was frustrated after the loss, but he could have handled this so much better in his press conference. He mentioned that the issue is non-surgical. After that, all he really needed to add was something along the lines of:

    “There’s no serious damage, he’s going to get therapy on it multiple times a day and all we can do is hope that his knee responds quickly. That knee has been seriously injured and repaired twice, so an occasional flare up is going to happen and the training staff will deal with it. We’ll get Sam back on the field as quickly as we can, but we don’t know exactly when that’s going to be.”

    A few extra sentences and expectations are set.

  • Gordon Guffey

    Report: Sam Bradford believed to have bone bruise
    Posted by Josh Alper on September 18, 2017, 2:59 PM EDT
    Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that Bradford is believed to have a bone bruise and that he will have an injection in his knee this week.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/09/18/report-sam-bradford-believed-to-have-bone-bruise/





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