Vikings' Mike Zimmer mum on QB Sam Bradford after another missed practice
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Two weeks ago, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer ruled quarterback Sam Bradford out after he missed two straight practices.
Not on Thursday, Oct. 12.
After Bradford sat out again to rest a left knee injury, Zimmer declined to speculate on his status for Sunday's game against Green Bay at U.S. Bank Stadium.
"We'll see,'' Zimmer said. "I don't know.''
After missing three games, Bradford returned for Monday's 20-17 victory at Chicago before aggravating his knee and being taken out in the final minute of the first half. Before the third game Bradford missed, a 14-7 loss Oct. 1 to Detroit, Zimmer did acknowledge after two missed practices that the quarterback wouldn't play.
It seems unlikely Bradford will get the call against the Packers. Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Theismann said Wednesday it would be "foolish" to start Bradford on Sunday after his lack of mobility was evident against the Bears and he was sacked four times.
Backup Case Keenum, who replaced Bradford against Chicago after starting the previous three games, is likely to again start.
The Vikings have injury problems beyond Bradford. Also missing a second straight day of practice were three other starters: wide receiver Stefon Diggs (groin), left guard Nick Easton (calf) and safety Andrew Sendejo (groin).
Diggs said Wednesday he expects to play against the Packers. He said before Thursday's practice the injury isn't as bad as the groin strain he suffered when he missed a game last season.
"I feel good, man,'' Diggs said. "I feel like I tweaked it a little bit (in the third quarter at Chicago). I came back in the game. ... Last year was pretty bad. This year, I feel pretty good.''
If Easton can't play, he would be replaced by Jeremiah Sirles, who replaced him for the final 10 offensive plays against the Bears.
The Vikings did get defensive tackle Tom Johnson back at practice after he sat out Wednesday with a knee injury. Johnson and linebacker Eric Kendricks (shoulder) were listed as limited participants.
Still, the Vikings (3-2) are banged up during a short week as they face Green Bay (4-1) in an attempt to move into a tie for the NFC North lead.
"It's a challenge,'' Zimmer said. "Every team has challenges. ... It's the NFL. It's a week-to-week proposition. You're only as good as your last game and that's all it is. People jump on the wagon, they jump off the wagon. Doesn't matter.''
Priefer loses sleep
Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer said Thursday he still hadn't gotten over the Bears throwing a touchdown pass on a fake punt.
"I haven't slept a whole lot since then,'' he said.
With the Vikings leading 10-2 in the third quarter, punter Pat O'Donnell threw a 38-yard touchdown strike to Benny Cunningham over the middle.
"I was very upset with myself,'' Priefer said. "That was a bad call. I put our team in a bad situation. It was not anything that our players did wrong. Now, I would have liked to make the tackle after they got the first down because the way our defense was playing, we might have forced a field goal situation. But at the end of the day, that call was on me. I felt pretty bad about that.''
• Jerick McKinnon took note of Adrian Peterson's new number when his former backfield mate was traded from New Orleans to Arizona. "I did start to text him and tell him that 23 looks pretty good on him, so we'll see,'' McKinnon said of Peterson, who wore No. 28 with the Vikings and Saints.
• In the six games the Vikings have faced the Packers with Zimmer as coach, Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 19 times, Asked about that, Zimmer only said, "I have good players.''
• Cornerback Xavier Rhodes wasn't targeted once against the Bears, the first time he can remember that happening. Rhodes likely will be covering Jordy Nelson, Rodgers' favorite receiver. "He'll get targeted this week,'' Zimmer said.