The Vikings quarterback was placed on injured reserve Wednesday a day after he underwent a knee scope by Dr. James Andrews to clean it out, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per sources informed of the situation.
Case Keenum will start Sunday against the Washington Redskins and Bridgewater will be the backup, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. He added that he has "100 pecent" confidence in Bridgewater's ability to function on the field. In addition, Zimmer said he wouldn't rule out Bradford returning to the Vikings in the playoffs.
With only eight weeks left in the regular season, Bradford's window for return was already shrinking. Not that it was of major concern to the Vikings, who are chugging right along with Keenum under center and have plenty of reason for optimism with the return of Bridgewater.
Those who consider Bradford's start to the season, though, were probably yearning for his return, even with Minnesota's better-than-average situation at the position. Bradford was electric in his only full game of this season, displaying remarkable accuracy at all levels of the field and completing 27 of 32 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns in a win over the New Orleans Saints.
Keenum hasn't been as good in Bradford's place, but also hasn't hurt the Vikings, as evidenced by their division-leading 6-2 record. Keenum has completed 149 of 233 pass attempts (63.9 completion percentage) for 1,610 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions. His resulting passer rating has been a respectable 88.8. And again, the Vikings are 6-2.
Could we have seen the last of Bradford in a purple, horned helmet? The veteran has dealt with plenty of knee injuries prior to this season, making his latest issue understandable. He's also a free agent after this season, and with Bridgewater making a remarkable return from what was a career-threatening injury, the need for Bradford doesn't seem to exist anymore.
We also still need to see how Bridgewater performs in an actual game. With the date of his return to game action still undetermined, that aspect remains unknown. There are plenty of moving parts here -- but Bradford will be the one who is left behind.