Don’t tell the Vikings that Sam Bradford is injury prone.
They think they got some guy who is half Brett Favre, half Chuck Norris, after the new arrival led them to a win over the Packers while taking plenty of hard hits last night.
“That dude is one tough motherf—–,” Vikings guard Alex Boone told Tom Pelissero of USA Today. “There was a couple times he got hit – I thought he was dead. He wasn’t moving, so I had to pick him up. I’m like, ‘Sam, don’t be dead.’ Next play: f—— bullet. You’re going, ‘Jesus, this guy’s a beast!’”
Officially, Bradford took 10 hits last night, including one to his left hand that sent him to the locker room for X-rays. But he didn’t miss a play, and completed 22-of-31 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns on a night when Adrian Peterson was lost to a knee injury and wasn’t very good before leaving.
Bradford’s left hand was swollen afterward, which just gave his new teammates one more thing to be impressed by, two weeks after he was acquired in a trade with the Eagles for a first round pick and a conditional fourth.
“It was nice and fat,” tight end Kyle Rudolph said of Bradford’s hand. “But he’s gutsy. Just to stand in there and take hit after hit – it speaks volumes of him as a player and a person.”
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer admitted he was unsure about giving Bradford his first start in the first game in U.S. Bank Stadium, hoping to get him some relief work last week. But starter Shaun Hill didn’t yield last week, making Bradford’s debut on a grand new stages.
“He can throw the ball,” Zimmer said. “He’s got some toughness about him. This isn’t his first rodeo, so he’s had opportunities to get in there and to go. He was pretty composed all night. . . . It was a good start.”
Now he just has to prove he can stay on the field, which has always been a bit of a challenge, but the Vikings are now counting on him to lead them, possibly without Peterson for some period of time.