Vikings reportedly concerned but hopeful after an MRI on Sam Bradford's knee

The Minnesota Vikings had about as good a season debut as you could have, blasting the Saints into oblivion with a combination of outstanding defense and surprisingly explosive offense. The pass catchers -- Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielan and Kyle Rudolph -- are the most underrated group in the NFL, and Dalvin Cook could be primed for a OROY season. 

But it was Sam Bradford standing tall in the pocket and slinging the ball vertically that really stood out for Minnesota. If Bradford played like that all season, the Vikings are legitimate contenders. So it's extremely concerning for Bradford to be battling a knee injury ahead of Week 2.

According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, Bradford dealt with "swelling, pain, discomfort" during the week and went for an MRI. The Vikings, Mortensen reports, had "concern" but also "hope."

Those are terrifying words for a quarterback who has had multiple torn ACLs over the course of his football-playing career. There are a few red flags besides the history and the MRI too.

Bradford is starting Sunday, Mike Zimmer announced. He will be ready to play. The Vikings dodged a bullet here it looks like. But Mortensen notes that just in case Bradford is "able to start but doesn't finish Sunday" the Vikings want to have the option of having Keenum with some reps leading up to the game. 

There is plenty of optimism around the Vikings leading into this season, particularly after the way Minnesota's offense looked against the Saints. 

But the Steelers -- a 6-point favorite now -- present a much tougher challenge in Pittsburgh. And if Bradford isn't completely healthy, the challenge gets exponentially more difficult. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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