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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Case Keenum remains in the present, but quarterback has a rich future

By Judd Zulgad

MINNEAPOLIS — It remains to be seen how Case Keenum’s season will play out or if he has a future in Minnesota, but this much can be said about the veteran quarterback.

His 2017 regular-season will go down as one of the best short-term investments the Vikings have evr made. General manager Rick Spielman signed Keenum to a one-year, $2 million contract this offseason to serve as Sam Bradford’s backup, thinking Keenum might be needed in a couple of games if Bradford got injured.

But that changed after Bradford’s brilliant Week 1 performance in a victory over the Saints — 27 of 32 for 346 yards and three touchdowns — when he showed up at Winter Park with his twice-surgically repaired left knee aching. Aside from one more painful-to-watch October start in Chicago, Bradford’s regular-season was done.

Keenum, 29, ended up going 11-3 as the Vikings’ starter and helped Minnesota rally for a victory over the Bears on Oct. 9 that began an eight-game winning streak. Keenum closed the regular season on Sunday by completing 21 of 29 passes for 189 yards with a touchdown in a 23-10 victory over the Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Keenum finished the season with 3,547 yards passing, 22 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 98.3 passer rating. That was the fifth-best in team history. Keenum had eight games in which his passer rating was more than 100 — the Vikings were undefeated in those — and his 10 games without an interception tied the team-record for most games without an interception.

“I’m going to wait until after the year to put everything in perspective,” Keenum said when asked to reflect. “Definitely right now (I’m) enjoying this win, enjoying the season. Thirteen-and-3 has a nice ring to it. At the same time, we have a lot ahead of us, and we’re really excited about what is coming up.”

As the second seed in the NFC, the Vikings will have a first-round bye and a week off. They will then play host to a game in the Divisional round of the playoffs.

Keenum, who has previously spent time with the Rams and Texans, had never played in more than 10 games in a season before this year and never started more than nine. That came last year when he was holding a spot with the Los Angeles Rams until Jared Goff was ready.

There are some who wonder if Keenum again is serving as a placeholder, this time for Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater has returned from a serious knee injury suffered just before the 2016 season, but Keenum has done nothing that would cost him the starting job.

Keenum, Bridgewater and Bradford all will be free agents after this season, so how the Vikings’ QB situation will play out is anyone’s guess. Keenum almost certainly will get a rich, multiyear deal from someone and won’t enter 2018 as a backup. But for now he is only worried about the playoffs and the opportunity to continue a special season he could never have envisioned when he signed in Minnesota to wear a baseball cap and carry a clipboard.

“I think it’s every guy that’s in that locker room right now,” Keenum said when asked about what makes this team special. “Every coach that’s in there. It’s all those people put together and we not only respect each other, but we like each other, too. I think that goes a long way. Outside of the X’s and O’s, we fight for each other. I think you go up and down the row in there and everybody feels the same. I think that’s pretty rare.”

The post Case Keenum remains in the present, but quarterback has a rich future appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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