Sam Bradford (knee) will miss his third straight game for Minnesota (2-1), as Case Keenum is slated to start against Detroit (2-1).
It is unknown when Bradford will return, but one must wonder if Keenum, who threw for a career-high 369 yards in a 34-17 win over Tampa Bay in Week 3, will be the Vikings’ quarterback even when, say, Teddy Bridgewater is ready to get back on the field.
“I doubt it,” CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I doubt it. Case Keenum has had flashes before. He’s had stretches before. The problem with Case Keenum is how he’s built at this level, I don’t know about the durability factor. They’ve improved their offensive line some, sure, but Case Keenum is their break-glass-in-case-of-emergency (guy). He can stabilize your season for a month to six weeks, but week in week out, the durability factor – as the hits mount – I just don’t see them going that route.”
Keenum, 29, went underrated in 2012. He has thrown 27 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 28 career games with the Texans, Rams, and Vikings.
Keenum had a rough go of it in Pittsburgh in Week 2, finishing 20-of-37 for 167 yards, but he fared much better at home against Tampa Bay. He’ll try to do the same this Sunday against the Lions.
“We’ll see,” La Canfora said. “He took his lumps a little bit against the Steelers obviously (but) dominated the Bucs. He seems to have had their number over the years. But I will say this: It’s not like one of these where the first moment that Sam Bradford doesn’t have (pain) anymore that he’s going in. They need to see Sam Bradford not just practice a little bit on a Wednesday and little bit on a Thursday; they need to see Sam Bradford get through a week of practice taking most of the reps, if not all of them, and have no issues after that. Otherwise they’re going to err on the side of caution and continue with Keenum because in the short term he is a very functional quarterback.”
Especially given the weapons around him.
“With their running game and some of the assets they have with (Stefon) Diggs and (Adam) Thielen and their ability to get themselves open, run to the ball, run after the catch – they can chuck it around a little bit,” La Canfora said. “So Bradford is going to have to show that it’s not an issue Wednesday, not an issue Thursday, not an issue Friday, not an issue Saturday, and then he’ll be their starting quarterback again.”
Sunday’s kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. ET.