Vikings' Mike Zimmer offers vague return timeline for Sam Bradford

Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford could return to action this week, unless he doesn't. 

If that sounds vague, you can blame Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, who didn't offer much of an update on his starting quarterback following Minnesota's 26-9 loss in Pittsburgh on Sunday. Bradford didn't play against the Steelers, and right now, it's still unclear when he might return. 

According to Zimmer, Bradford could be back on the field anytime between now and Halloween.  

"Sam is fine," Zimmer said when asked about Bradford's possible playing status. "He might play one game from now, he might play six weeks from now. Either way, he's fine."

If he plays one game from now, that means Bradford could be on the field as soon this Sunday when the Vikings host the Buccaneers. However, if he misses out on the next six weeks, he wouldn't be back on the field until Oct. 29, which is a Week 8 game against the Browns in London. 

With Bradford out against the Steelers, the Vikings were forced to start Case Keenum, and Minnesota's offense promptly took a nosedive. Keenum threw for 167 yards and zero touchdowns, which was especially unimpressive when you consider the production that the Vikings got from the quarterback position in Week 1. 

In Minnesota's opener, Bradford threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns in a 29-19 win over the Saints

One reason that Zimmer might have been so vague about Bradford's status is because he actually doesn't know when his quarterback might return. Bradford's injury is apparently an odd one. After taking a hit in Week 1, Bradford eventually underwent an MRI. However, it was apparently difficult to tell how much damage there was because Bradford had so much scar tissue in his left knee, which has been surgically repaired twice due to two separate occasions where he tore his ACL. 

According to NFL.com, the team is hoping that Bradford will be on the field against the Buccaneers. However, that could change if the quarterback's knee doesn't respond well to treatment. The problem for the Vikings is that  they literally "don't know" how his knee is going to respond, according to NFL.com. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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