When the Vikings traded for Sam Bradford in the wake of Teddy Bridgewater’s season-ending knee injury, their hope was that bringing him to Minnesota would help them return to the playoffs despite the loss of their starting quarterback.
A 5-0 start to the year kept those hopes high, but Bridgewater wound up with plenty of company on the injury list and the season unraveled across the board for the Vikings over the next 10 weeks. Well, almost across the board might be more precise because Bradford has turned in a good season.
He has stayed healthy, turned in the highest quarterback rating of his career and will hold the league’s new record for single-season completion percentage if he can keep or improve on the 71.3 percent he brings with him into Week 17. That hasn’t led to nearly enough points for the Vikings, but coach Mike Zimmer called Bradford’s play “really remarkable” given his late arrival to the team.
“Maybe this is the best year he’s ever had,” Zimmer said, via the Pioneer Press. “If you put all those together and look at the things he’s had to deal with, I think he’s been amazing.”
Zimmer also said that he thinks Bradford could be even better next season thanks to the increased time in the system, although it’s not clear what the team’s plan will be at quarterback if Bridgewater is healthy. That’s a big if, of course, and Bradford is under contract for next season so it may be a while before anyone in Minnesota is ready to answer the question of next season’s starter.