The good news is that Adrian Peterson is healthy.
The bad news is, if Teddy Bridgewater isn’t, there aren’t many directions in which the Vikings can go to replace him.
At most positions in the NFL, supply outweighs demand. But not at quarterback, where there aren’t enough good ones to go around. And Bridgewater’s injury, if it’s as serious as the reports and accounts of teammate reaction suggests, will require the Vikings to quickly devise a Plan B.
If they go “next man up,” Plan B consists of journeyman Shaun Hill, a 36-year-old veteran who started eight games for the Rams in 2014 after Sam Bradford’s latest ACL tear. Hill has 34 total career starts, with a career-high 10 coming in 2010 with the Lions.
The upside is he knows Norv Turner’s system. The downside is, with all due respect, Hill a bounce-around guy who has never been mistaken for a great quarterback.
And so the Vikings can either wait for the waiver wire or try to find a trade partner. Mark Sanchez is available; in 2010, he beat the Vikings on a Monday night, but with a meh 21-for-44 showing for fewer than 200 yards. Colin Kaepernick also could be had, if the Vikings are willing to step into the shoes of a contract that pays out $11.9 million fully guaranteed this year, with a $14.5 million injury guarantee for 2017.
Kaepernick led the 49ers to a win over the Vikings to start the 2016 season, an aberration in hindsight for both teams — and a night in which Kaepernick had good-not-great passing numbers (17 for 26, 165 yards, no touchdowns, no picks) and 41 yards rushing. (Given Vikings guard Alex Boone’s position on Kaepernick’s national-anthem stance, it would be a little awkward, to say the least, to bring Kaepernick to town.)
Current Jets quarterbacks Geno Smith or Bryce Petty are available, along with Browns quarterback Josh McCown.
McCown would be an intriguing option given his play for the NFC North’s Bears in 2013 while Jay Cutler was injured (McCown had a solid game against the Vikings, in a close loss), and it was McCown who as a second-year player with the Cardinals threw an end-of-game Week 17 pass touchdown pass to Nate Poole against the Vikings in 2003, knocking Minnesota out of the playoffs and causing Paul Allen’s head to explode.
For that reason alone, McCown could be the most intriguing option — if the tanks-fer-nuttin Browns are truly in collect-picks-for-players-and-tank mode.
Of course, if we’re going to go all the way back to 2003, why not go back another year to 2002 and get the guy who made the Vikings defense look like the Keystone Cops.