After a promising start to their 2016 season, the Minnesota Vikings went into a downward spiral and couldn’t get out before it was too late.
They finished with an 8-8 record. Plenty of teams would love to have that many wins, but when you consider they started 5-0 and won the NFC North last year, it was pretty disappointing.
Things got off to an inauspicious start in the preseason with starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater went down with a gruesome torn ACL and dislocated knee. Rather than give the keys to Shaun Hill for the rest of the year, Minnesota traded for Sam Bradford.
Now, as the Vikings look ahead to next season, they’re uncertain whether Bridgewater will be ready to go. If he still isn’t cleared when training camp begins, head coach Mike Zimmer made it apparent that he’s comfortable with their current situation.
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“I think Sam has played great this year, No. 1,” Zimmer said. “I think he’s earned the right to be the starting quarterback, and right now all I’m worried about is Teddy getting better. … Sam has done remarkable, the things he’s done this year with all the things that he’s had to do.”
One of the nice parts about Bradford’s contract when they traded for him was that he was already signed through 2017. That will allow Minnesota to avoid rushing Bridgewater back out onto the field before he’s ready.
Of course, if Teddy’s healthy, he’ll assume the starting role, but Zimmer won’t make a timetable for that:
“Teddy is a guy that will do everything possible to get back as soon as he can possibly get back,” he said. “And he would be a guy that I would never bet against.”