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- Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is back on the team’s active roster after a 15-month absence. In his stay, backup quarterback Case Keenum has led the Vikings to a 6-2 start this season. Bridgewater’s return puts Minnesota in the awkward position of benching a winning quarterback.
Teddy Bridgewater has officially been added to the Minnesota Vikings active roster for the first time in 15 months, marking a significant step forward for the young quarterback.
To make the move possible, the Vikings placed quarterback Sam Bradford on injured reserve, freeing up a space for Bridgewater on the 53-man roster.
Bridgewater suffered a serious knee injury during a practice, in August 2016, that put him on the sidelines. The Vikings then traded for Bradford, who led the team to an 8-8 record during the 2016 season.
Bradford had an impressive performance in Week 1 this season, but went down with a knee injury. That pushed Case Keenum into the starting role, where he has remained ever since.
While the Vikings are certainly thrilled to have Bridgewater back, there is one minor complication with his return – the Vikings are already playing well.
In professional football it’s never a problem to be winning, but the timing of Bridgewater’s return does leave Minnesota in something of a tough spot. The Vikings are 6-2 and currently hold a two-game lead on their closest competition in the NFC Nort. If the season ended today, the Vikings would be preparing for a home playoff game as the third seed in the NFC.
While the majority of the credit for their success over the first half of the season goes to their defense, Case Keenum has done an admirable job filling in as the starter.
In a vacuum, Bridgewater is the better quarterback – he has a solid, accurate arm and is a mobile threat to both find space in the pocket and pick up the first down with his legs, making him a tough matchup for opposing defenses.
When Bridgewater is fully ready to come back, this will not be a quarterback controversy. But should Bridgewater stumble out the gate in his return, a controversy could arise.
A change at the center of a team’s offense will always come with a few hiccups, and pulling it off mid-season is no easy task, especially with a quarterback who has played a regular-season game in nearly two years.
Keenum has already been announced the Vikings starter on Sunday against the Redskins, but moving forward it’s possible Minnesota decides to hand the reigns back to Teddy Two-Gloves whenever he’s ready to go. With games against the Rams, Lions, and Panthers all coming in the next five weeks, the Vikings will want to put their best chance of winning on the field, and Bridgewater is likely that best chance.
But given the play of Case Keenum and the potential rust on Bridgewater’s game, the Vikings are only a few poorly timed losses away from having to make some uncomfortable decisions.