Since losing starting quarterback Sam Bradford to yet another knee surgery in November, the Minnesota Vikings have done nothing but declare themselves one of the NFC's top contenders, and now they're newly crowned division champions after .
As the postseason picture rounds into form and Minnesota vies for a first-round bye, they might get Bradford back.
Save for a spotty outing against Green Bay at a frigid Lambeau Field this weekend, journeyman fill-in Case Keenum has quieted just about any talk of the Vikings calling upon former first-round draft pick Teddy Bridgewater, let alone a recovering Bradford. His 98.4 passer rating in 13 starts, many of which came after Minnesota placed Bradford on injured reserve Nov. 8, marks a career best, and he's helped fuel everything from a to the Vikings' improbable 12-3 record.
But that doesn't mean Bradford will definitely be out of commission for Minnesota's postseason run.
As the Star Tribune's Ben Goessling noted Sunday, the veteran is now eligible to return to practice thanks to at least six weeks of missed time, and there are some raised eyebrows in the Vikings facility as Bradford "has been more visible in the locker room and on the sideline in recent weeks, especially after how rarely he was seen around the team before and after his surgery."
Goessling added that "it didn't exactly sound as though" the Vikings anticipated Bradford would be available after his November surgery, which was meant to "clean up" recurring knee problems. (The rest of the NFL might have felt the same way considering the quarterback's injury history -- two ACL tears undid his career with the St. Louis Rams, and he also missed two games during his one season with the Philadelphia Eagles.) There's also still an argument to be made that, regardless of the QB room's health, Keenum should headline it for the remainder of 2017.
Bradford looked virtually immobile when he last took the field for Minnesota in October, but he's also only a few months removed from a three-touchdown Week One victory and. In 2016, his first with the team, he set an NFL record for pass completion percentage despite arriving via trade just eight days before the season and playing behind a depleted offensive line.