Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford left the field after suffering a bruised left hand in the second quarter of Sunday Night Football against the Green Bay Packers. He was briefly replaced by backup Shaun Hill, but Bradford did return to the game.
Bradford briefly went to the locker room for X-rays, but returned to the sideline shortly after. The injury was to his non-throwing hand.
The Vikings didn’t take long to turn the reins of the offense over to Bradford. On Sunday, the team made the veteran quarterback the team’s starter for its Week 2 showdown against the Packers.
The announcement broke a week of silence regarding the team’s quarterback competition. Head coach Mike Zimmer was tight-lipped throughout Week 2’s practices, but made sure to compliment Bradford’s abilities when asked about his newest passer.
"The upside is that he’s a veteran," Zimmer said of Bradford. "[He’s] seen a lot of stuff. He throws the ball great, got a good arm, gets the ball out quick."
Those comments, along with reports Bradford had been working with the first team throughout the week’s practices, led Packers coach Mike McCarthy to expect to see the former top overall pick behind center in Week 2.
Bradford, 28, was acquired by the Vikings just eight days before the team’s opener against the Tennessee Titans after incumbent starter Teddy Bridgewater suffered a serious knee injury in a practice that ended his 2016 season. Minnesota sent the Philadelphia Eagles a first-round pick for Bradford, so there was no question that the former No. 1 overall pick would eventually take over for Hill.
But given just a week to prepare for the game, the Vikings left Bradford on the bench to begin the season and turned to Hill to lead the way against the Titans.
The 36-year-old journeyman quarterback was competent but unspectacular in the start. He completed 18 of his 33 passes for 236 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. Minnesota only gained 301 total yards with Hill behind center, the sixth-lowest total in the league for Week 1. The Vikings failed to score an offensive touchdown, instead relying on a pair of defensive scores to defeat Tennessee, 25-16.
Bradford, the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, started four seasons for the Rams before missing the entire 2014 season with an ACL tear. In 2015, Bradford was traded to the Eagles and finished his only season in Philadelphia with a career-best 3,725 passing yards along with 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.