Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has confirmed something that has been known from the moment quarterback Teddy Bridgewater received clearance to practice three weeks ago: He’s ready to play.
Zimmer made the proclamation to reporters on Wednesday, the same day the Vikings moved Bridgewater to the active roster. However, Zimmer also said Case Keenum will start on Sunday. Bridgewater will dress and serve as the backup.
The next question becomes whether Bridgewater will supplant Keenum, and if so when. Keenum is 4-2 as a starter, but he picked up another win against the Bears after Sam Bradford exited late in the first half. However, the schedule is about to get a lot tougher for Minnesota.
Keenum has bested the likes of Brett Hundley, Mitchell Trubisky, DeShone Kizer, Jameis Winston, and Joe Flacco. Coming up are games against Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, and Cam Newton. At some point, the Vikings likely need Bridgewater, if they hope to hold off the Lions and win the NFC North.
Complicating matters is the fact that Bridgewater has never played for offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. Instead, Bridgewater spend two years and the preparations for a third working with Norv Turner.
Currently, Vikings have a two-game lead over Detroit. But Detroit has beaten the Vikings in Minnesota; if the Lions can complete the sweep in 15 days, they’ll need to pick up only one more game to force a tie and, in turn, capture the crown.