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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Colin Kaepernick questions will grow louder for Vikings the longer Sam Bradford is out

By Matthew Coller

On Friday, Mike Zimmer reiterated that he does not have a crystal ball to look into the future.

That was all the Minnesota Vikings’ head coach could say after announcing that starting quarterback Sam Bradford will not play on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

ESPN reported that Bradford has continued to have pain in his knee since Week 1 when he led the Vikings over the New Orleans Saints and will seek a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews.

On Wednesday, the Vikings’ starter was asked if his knee issue could be a lingering problem. His answer didn’t exactly inspire confidence in a speedy recovery.

“I we figure that out as we go,” Bradford said. “Hopefully it continues to get better each day and we’ll look back in a few days or whenever that time is and hopefully it’s something that we’re not having to deal with again. If it’s something that lingers and we have to deal with it, then we’ll figure out the best approach on how to manage it.”

Bradford missing multiple weeks now appears to be a plausible scenario. If that’s the case, the Vikings can expect an exponential growth in conversation about free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

For now, the Vikings are rolling with backup Case Keenum, who threw for just 167 yards in a 26-9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. But if the former Texan and Ram struggles, there will be calls to bring the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback to Minnesota.

While Kaepernick did not build on his early success like some believed he would, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound QB posted a 90.7 quarterback rating and 55.2 QBR last season while throwing 16 touchdowns and four interceptions in 11 starts. He also rushed for 468 yards.

In comparison, Keenum had a 76.4 rating and had a 43.4 QBR in nine starts while tossing nine touchdowns and 11 INTs.

In early August, the stats analysis website FiveThirtyEight posted a chart comparing Kaepernick’s production to other jobless QBs and found that few of his caliber had ever gone jobless into mid-August – much less the regular season.

One of the concerns that has been voiced, many times through anonymous executives, about signing Kaepernick is a potential locker room distraction. Last season, the 49ers’ quarterback kneeled during the national anthem in protest of police violence toward black Americans.

Former Kaepernick teammate Tramaine Brock told 1500ESPN Friday that Kaepernick’s protest was not seen as a distraction inside the 49ers’ locker room.

“Not at all, not at all,” Brock said. “We came together as a team last year when he decided to do that and we talked about it. Some guys had their opinions on it but after he came to us and talked about it, we all had his back about the situation.”

Brock called his ex-teammate a “good quarterback” and said that he could not speculate on whether the Vikings should contact Kaepernick.

“He can play in the league,” Brock said. “He showed it. He proved it. That’s it. As far as converting his situation to Minnesota’s situation, I can’t talk too much about that.”

Brock also added that he did not think any team would sign Kaepernick this year. Last season, one Vikings player told 1500ESPN that he believed Kaepernick was being kept out of the league as a message to other players. However, a number of other NFL’ers have followed suit with similar protests. After a sack against the 49ers on Sunday, Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett raised his fist in the air.

The Vikings have been no stranger to distractions. In 2014, running back Adrian Peterson was suspended for the season, then last year the Vikings lost starting QB Teddy Bridgewater for the season with a severe knee injury and head coach Mike Zimmer missed a Thursday night matchup with Dallas due to emergency eye surgery. The Vikings also saw their offensive coordinator Norv Turner resign after a loss in Chicago.

Minnesota entered this season with high hopes. They signed several defensive stars – Xavier Rhodes, Everson Griffen and Linval Joseph – to contract extensions and spent top dollar in free agency to sign tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers. The Vikings will also play host to the Super Bowl this year.

Whether they would consider Kaepernick, a native of Wisconsin, or not is unclear, but the Vikings can count on hearing more questions about him if Bradford cannot return soon and Keenum struggles.

The post Colin Kaepernick questions will grow louder for Vikings the longer Sam Bradford is out appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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