Enero 22, 2018

Vikings promote practice squad QB amid concerns about Sam Bradford's knee

17 Setiembre 2017, 02:33 | Cornelio Vivanco

Sam Bradford experienced swelling in his knee this week. More

Sam Bradford experienced swelling in his knee this week

Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford was limited in practice all week, had an MRI on Tuesday (which was negative) and is listed as "questionable" for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Week 2 will provide a glimpse into whether more of the same can be expected this season when Pittsburgh hosts Minnesota on Sunday. Stefon Diggs proved to be extremely reliable in the underneath area, and he will need to be again to help relieve the heat that Bradford will be under.

With Bradford showing that type of prowess, Dalvin Cook breaking out in his National Football League debut and the defense playing at that level, there was reason to think the Vikings might be a dark horse in the NFC this season. He was limited by a knee injury this week and could be at less than 100% percent against the Steelers.

It looked last season as if it would be more of the same after a 5-0 start that included road wins at Tennessee and Carolina. Although Pittsburgh never trailed, the game was still in doubt in the fourth quarter when a late Browns score cut the lead to three points with over three minutes to play. The circumstances in New England - the Chiefs trailed for most of the game - demanded the Chiefs throw a lot, but they won't always be in that situation.

It's unlikely that Smith, at 33, has suddenly become a new and improved player.

Steelers WR Martavis Bryant - Bryant's return from suspension was a quiet one last week, as he caught just two passes for 14 yards. Cook is a fantastic weapon, and should be too hot for the Steelers defense to handle.

But at the same time, Minnesota's offense was kind of ridiculous last week. A lackluster performance against Cleveland simply means he has something to prove this week. The Steelers beat the Vikings 16-6 in Super Bowl IX. This would put a premium on the offensive line being able to get movement without having extra tight ends or fullbacks in the game. Giving up a few big plays could make winning that much harder.

Last week, the defense got to go up against a rookie playing in his first game who, while he showed mobility to escape some pressures, also struggled with his internal clock, and his accuracy waivered. The Steelers are coming in with something to prove.

"We anticipate that he's going to play, " Zimmer said.

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