As the week unfolded, the reports and indications went back and forth, with Titans coach Mike Mularkey at one point declaring he won’t be falling for the Sam Bradford banana in the tailpipe.
But the signs now point squarely to Shaun Hill, and for good reason. As noted during the Panthers-Broncos pregame on NBC, the Vikings are concerned about the ability of Bradford to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage, based on looks from Titans defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau’s unit. The Vikings expect LeBeau to throw everything at whoever the quarterback is, and they were concerned that Bradford won’t be ready to deal with it.
Does that mean Bradford won’t play at all? If the Vikings fall behind by 10 or more points, it could make sense to tell Sam to get in there and spin it.
The next question becomes whether Bradford will play next week, when the Vikings officially bust a bottle of bubbly on their new stadium with a game against the Packers. If Bradford isn’t ready by then, it will be fair to start wondering when the all-in move to salvage the season will actually begin the process of salvaging the season.
Meanwhile, if Hill plays well enough against the Titans to earn another start and if Hill leads Minnesota to a win over Green Bay, it will be hard to send him to the bench for Bradford.
It may be a good problem to have, but it’s definitely a problem if the Vikings don’t get a return on their major investment in a quarterback who, in theory, will play not like Teddy Bridgewater did in 2014 and 2015 but in the way they hoped he would in 2016.