Coach Mike Zimmer expressed optimism on Friday that Bradford would start after undergoing an MRI and being limited in practice. But after Bradford tossed a few passes at Heinz Field and appeared to favor the injured knee and walked gingerly, the Vikings played it safe with their starter.
Coming off an impressive Week 1 thrashing of the New Orleans Saints, the Vikings weren’t going to force Bradford onto the field Sunday and risk a possible short-term injury becoming a season-long issue.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on NFL GameDay Morning that while Bradford’s MRI is difficult to read because he has so much scar tissue from past knee injuries, the team believes his ACL is still intact. The Vikings believe Bradford will only miss a week because of the issue, Rapoport reported.
Keenum steps into the starting role against a Steelers defense that earned seven sacks in Week 1. Keenum started nine games for the Los Angeles Rams in 2016. The 29-year-old backup has started at least two games in each of his first four seasons in the NFL. Keenum has 24 career starts, a 58.4 completion percentage, 5,224 passing yards, 24 TD passes and 20 INTs.
NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala reported that Steelers coach watched a little Keenum film this week in case they faced the backup.