By 3:00 PM Central time on Wednesday, the Minnesota Vikings will have to make their decision on the 2017 status of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. As we indicated yesterday, all of the signs point to the Vikings adding him to the 53-man roster by that deadline.
So, how will the Vikings go about making that happen? Well, they’ve got a couple of options. Let’s take a look at them, in order of the likelihood I see them happening in.
Placing Sam Bradford on Injured Reserve
Even after all these weeks, nobody outside of Winter Park really seems to know what’s going on with Sam Bradford’s knee. The team pushed him out onto the field back in Week 5 against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, and after less than a half of football decided he had no business being out there, so they replaced him with Case Keenum. Bradford hasn’t practiced since then, and every week we hear about how he’s “getting better,” but he continues to not practice and is apparently getting all sorts of alternative treatments on his knee as well.
If the Vikings were to place Bradford on injured reserve, he’d be gone for the rest of the regular season, as the league rules say he would have to be there for eight weeks before the team could potentially bring him back. But if he’s going to continue to not practice and not contribute to the team, there’s really no reason to keep him in a roster spot and keep crossing your fingers and hoping that he comes back. With the way that things are going right now, I think that this is the most likely scenario. Does it stink for Bradford? It sure does, but that’s just the way things go in the NFL sometimes.
Waiving Kyle Sloter
Sloter, who the Vikings brought on to their practice squad after this year’s final cuts, has been serving as Case Keenum’s backup ever since Bradford’s injury. The Vikings paid a premium. . .at least, as far as practice squad salaries are concerned. . .to get Sloter on to the squad. He was incredibly impressive in the preseason with the Denver Broncos, and many Broncos fans seemed to be very upset that the team let him go in the preseason.
If the Vikings should choose to part ways with Sloter, you can kiss him goodbye. Because we’re past the NFL trading deadline, every player. . .rookies, veterans, whoever. . .is subject to the waiver process. With a record of 6-2, the Vikings would be way down at the bottom of the waiver priority list, meaning there’s no hope that all of the teams in front of them would pass on Sloter and that they could bring him back to the practice squad. There are enough teams with quarterback situations that are firmly into “dumpster fire” territory that someone with a worse record than the Vikings currently have would snatch him up for their 53-man roster immediately.
Carry Four Quarterbacks
While this is, potentially, an option, it’s one that really doesn’t make any sense. There isn’t another team in the NFL that currently has four quarterbacks on their 53-man roster, and there are quite a few that don’t even have three. Keeping four quarterbacks on the roster means that you’d likely be burning two spots on the inactive list on quarterbacks each Sunday, unless you wanted to keep three QBs active, in which case you’re shorting yourself on the depth chart somewhere else. I don’t think there’s any way that the Vikings go with this option, but it is still an option.
Not Activating Bridgewater
Speaking of not an option. . .I mean, I guess that something could come up between now and Wednesday’s deadline where the team wouldn’t activate Bridgewater and he would go on injured reserve for the rest of the season. Of course, if that happens, I’m probably taking a couple of days off, because the weeping and the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments would be too much for me to handle. Honestly, barring something weird, this isn’t happening.
Those appear to be the Vikings’ options for Teddy Bridgewater as we sit approximately 48 hours away from the deadline to activate him. Obviously, if anything official drops, we will have it for you here.