Minnesota Vikings' Mike Zimmer has to sort out crowded quarterback picture

By The Sports Xchange  |  Jan. 23, 2018 at 5:50 PM
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Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer acknowledged on Tuesday that he faces a "unique" offseason regarding his quarterbacks.

Seldom does a team that reached the conference championship game have uncertainty at the quarterback position for the following season. But that is the case for the Vikings.

Complicating the issue is that all three of Minnesota's quarterbacks -- Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater -- can become free agents this offseason. In addition, there are questions about the durability of Bradford and Bridgewater.

Zimmer was not ready to reveal the team's plans for dealing with the quarterback situation.

"We're going to work through the process just like I always do," Zimmer said. "We're going to evaluate all the players, we're going to evaluate everybody and we're going to go about our business like we always do."

He did not commit to Keenum as his starter for next season.

Keenum, who started 14 regular-season games and both postseason games while leading the team to within one win of the Super Bowl, and Bridgewater both said on Monday they are uncertain whether the Vikings want them to return in 2018.

Zimmer did provide some significant information, however. He said he thinks Bradford has recovered from the knee problems that sidelined him for all but one half after guiding the team to a season-opening win.

"He feels like he is (recovered) so we'll just have to see how he continues to improve," said Zimmer, who spoke to Bradford on Monday.

Bradford returned to the active roster in the postseason and served as Keenum's backup, with Bridgewater de-activated for those two games.

Bridgewater has played in only one game since suffering a severe knee injury at the end of the 2015 season. However, Zimmer said Bridgewater is recovering from that injury faster than most players do, calling it "an unbelievable achievement."

Bridgewater dislocated his left knee and tore his ACL in practice late in the 2015 season. He returned to practice in early November 2017 and was Keenum's backup for the second half of the regular season.

"I think he's doing good now," Zimmer said. "He's at the point where he can play. You just have to work through figuring out where he's at in that because obviously we didn't get to see him through games."

The Vikings have a number of options, but Zimmer was not ready to state his game plan for addressing the future of the three quarterbacks.

"Have I thought about it? Yeah," Zimmer said. "But quite honestly, up until about 3 a.m. yesterday or whatever time it was the game got over the other night, my whole focus has been on the now, not so much the future, and (general manager) Rick Spielman and I had talked about that earlier. We said let's just go through the season, let's figure it out after the season, we'll go through that process and go from there and see how that goes. We're just going to work through it."

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