• The Vikings’ decision to sit quarterback Sam Bradford for Sunday’s game with Tampa Bay couldn’t have been an easy one. Bradford wanted to play, and was willing to take his chances, but the coaches have been encouraged by Case Keenum. He was able to work with the first team all week and looked a lot better.
• Vikings coach Mike Zimmer knows he will have his hands full with Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston. “He’s got two excellent receivers, actually he’s got a few guys,” Zimmer said of the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner at Florida State. “I think he believes he can make every throw, and sometimes he’s going to take his opportunities to throw it.”
• Look for third-down defense to be a key component against Tampa Bay. The Vikings are seventh in the league at stopping third downs, with opponents converting just 29.2 percent of the time, but the Bucs converted at 53.3 percent last week in their 29-7 rout of the Bears.
• ESPN “Monday Night Football” analyst Jon Gruden, who coached Tampa Bay to a victory in Super Bowl XXXVII after the 2002 season, believes the Bucs will be in the Super Bowl this year. “They have a great quarterback in Jameis Winston, a tremendous defense,” Gruden said. NFL.com had the Bucs rated as the 10th-best team in the NFL, while CBS Sports had them eighth and SB Nation had them sixth.
• Former Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway might have retired, but his ex-teammates still stepped up and helped play host to his seventh annual Waiter Night at Manny’s Steakhouse to raise money for his Lead the Way Foundation.
• A Washington Post article pointed out that Big Ten football has re-emerged of late, noting even the Michigan-Purdue game was of interest because of how well the Boilermakers had played under new coach Jeff Brohm. The Gophers visit Purdue on Oct. 7, and the Boilermakers figure to be well-prepared because they have a bye next Saturday.