As the Vikings began their final practice of the week before Sunday’s game, Sam Bradford wasn’t on the field.

The quarterback, who has been limited in practice the first two days of the week because of the left knee issues that kept him out of Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh, wasn’t taking part in the brief portion of Friday’s practice open to the media. Case Keenum (who started on Sunday against the Steelers) and Kyle Sloter were the only QBs taking part in the session.

It’s here we should note that Bradford hasn’t been on the practice field at the end of the Vikings’ first two practices this week, so it’s possible his absence at the beginning of Friday’s practice was a bit of gamesmanship from the Vikings, in an effort to conceal their intentions about whether Bradford will play on Sunday. Generally, players who aren’t on the field during the open portion of practice turn out to be non-participants in the entire session, but if the Vikings are committed to a cloak-and-dagger strategy with their quarterbacks, they could limit Bradford’s practice participation to the parts that are closed to reporters.

In any case, coach Mike Zimmer will address the media after practice, and the Vikings will have to list Bradford’s participation in their final injury report of the week later today, so we’ll have a better idea of the quarterback’s status for Sunday’s game by the afternoon.

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