Sam Bradford walked onto the turf at Heinz Field, threw a small number of passes, didn't run or cut, and walked off with athletic trainer Eric Sugarman.

It didn't look promising, and it wasn't. An hour later, the Vikings released their inactives, and Bradford was on the list.

On Monday night, Bradford had his best game as a pro, inflating expectations for his team.

Six days later, his left knee, on which he has endured a couple of surgeries, wouldn't allow him to play on a grass field.

The Vikings are right to protect him, but this is a terrible sign.

The Vikings have two franchise-quality quarterbacks and neither was available to them on Sunday.

Teddy Bridgewaters remains on the physically-unable-to-perform list and may never be the player he seemed destined to become. Bradford is dealing with chronic knee soreness.

I saw Bradford walking around the lockerroom on Wednesday and he looked fine. He did not get hit often on Monday night. He just has a problematic knee.

The Vikings' offensive line finally has a good game, and their quarterback gets hurt, anyway.

Not that the Vikings are cursed. Nope. Not that. I don't even know why you brought it up.


Last time the Vikings were in Pittsburgh, they lost, 27-17, at Heinz Field.

It was 20-17 before Kevaron Fox returned an interception 82 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Having covered the game, what I remember is the epic feel of Brett Favre facing Ben Roethlisberger in one of the most intense football atmospheres in the NFL. From the stands, you can see the rivers and downtown Pittsburgh.

This is another reminder of how compelling the entire 2009 season was. Everywhere Favre went, he brought drama with him.


Stupid prediction:

I picked the Steelers to win, 24-20, before we learned of Bradford's situation.

Given his injury, the Steelers playing their home opener a week after a mediocre performance at Cleveland, the Steelers' traditional home dominance and the Vikings' short week, I'll amend that to 27-16, Steelers.

Last week I picked the Vikings to win 26-20. The final was 29-19.

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