Getting into the spirit of being a Minnesota Viking, Sam Bradford teased fans with a brilliant Week 1 performance, then woke up a day later to a swollen knee and career doubt.
With Bradford missing a second straight game this week, the Vikings at best are facing a season of week-to-week doubt at the most important position in sports.
What they need now is depth. They need a rotation. And a bullpen. And a closer. And maybe a lefty. In baseball, that guy is called a “Loogy’’ — a lefthanded one-out-guy. In football, he’d be a Loopy — a lefthanded one-pass guy.
In baseball, they call a committee approach “Johnny All-Staff.’’ The Vikings don’t have a staff. They have one healthy quarterback who has started an NFL game, and, unfortunately, his name is Case Keenum.
This season the Vikings might require a village at quarterback. Here are some players who could, maybe — but probably not — help:
Keenum: Next time the Vikings fail to invest in a quality backup quarterback, you may want to revolt.
Kyle Sloter: The rookie once almost quit football but had a nice preseason in Denver, one of the reasons the Vikings signed him to their practice squad. Now he’s the Vikings’ No. 2 quarterback. Question: How often does a quarterback come off a practice squad to become a good NFL starter? (If you’re a Vikings fan, you don’t want to know the answer.)
Sam Bradford: Like Daunte Culpepper and Teddy Bridgewater before him, Bradford looked like a franchise quarterback before injuring his knee. Even if he’s able to return to the field in a week or two, how much can anyone plan on him being healthy and at his best at any point this season?
Teddy Bridgewater: He remains on the physically-unable-to-perform list. It is quaint to hope that he can return, if needed, after six weeks to rally the team, but that would take some needle-threading. If Bradford were healthy and winning, there is no need for Bridgewater. If Bradford isn’t healthy, the team probably won’t be winning. Do you want to put Bridgewater at risk when your team isn’t in contention?
Mitch Leidner: He put his Bite Squad job on hold to help out during the preseason. Given the nature of the NFL, wouldn’t he be better off keeping his day job? Or any day job that doesn’t include hits to the head?
Brett Favre: He’s better today than Keenum. Would he come back? Not to play. Could we at least bring him back to do press conferences?
Shaun Hill: We can all agree that he probably hasn’t lost much mobility in the last year.
Christian Ponder: He’s available and it’s about time he started contributing to the family income.
Adam Weber: If Leidner can get a call during the preseason, why not Weber during the regular season? He’s better than Leidner. He’s better than Tim Tebow. He’s probably better than Keenum.
Sage Rosenfels: How can you not love a guy who nicknamed the most embarrassing moment of his career? He once helped the Texans blow a lead by trying to fly over a couple of defenders, getting twirled in the air and fumbling. Sage calls that the “Rosencopter.’’
Rich Gannon: He lives in the Twin Cities and has never not been in game shape.
Tarvaris Jackson: Someone once said he breathes well while calling plays. Strangely, that someone was an NFL head coach.
Joe Webb: Now that NFL defenses have stopped worrying about the read option, it’s time to catch them sleeping.
Robert Griffin III: This is the perfect time for the Vikings to corner the market on one-time franchise quarterbacks who have suffered knee injuries.
Colin Kaepernick: Last time I brought him up, I did so to make a point. This time I’m just trying to make you mad.
Demry Croft: He seems to be available.
Spergon Wynn: His potential remains untapped.