Okay, so I admit the title of this article is basically to attract views. Minnesota, you do have a problem, and that problem is Teddy Bridgewater’s obliterated knee. The Louisville product is done for the season, but fortunately for the Vikings, this season is not lost. In fact, it’s far from over.
In steps Shaun Hill, a career backup, who in turn will be spelled by Wisconsin product Joel Stave. Hill isn’t going to put up sexy stats and he isn’t going to blow you away with his talent, but that doesn’t matter. Minnesota’s receiving corps improved through drafting Laquon Treadwell, and having Stefon Diggs to stretch the field with tight end Kyle Rudolph working underneath in the short to mid-range passing game helps. It helps even more that the ageless Adrian Peterson is in the backfield. Minnesota attempted the fewest passes per game in the entire league last year (Teddy himself only threw 14 TDs), so all they need is a game manager.
Best case scenario? Hill does fine, Minnesota still wins the division because every other roster in the NFC North is inferior, and Vikings fans smile because they’re happy. Worst case? Hill falls on his face and Stave lives down to his already-low expectations, and the Vikings are forced to look into a replacement… maybe a Mark Sanchez, or a Colin Kaepernick, or a Josh McCown. If it was me? I’d probably go get Matt Flynn, who I’ve always thought has some pretty high upside. But either way, whether it’s Hill, Stave or an outside source, the Vikings should be fine. Quarterback wasn’t one of their best positions anyways, and they are still going to go as far as AP takes them.
I’d still pencil them in for 11-13 wins, especially with that defense.
You do have to hope, however, that the torn ACL and dislocated knee won’t hurt Bridgewater’s career down the line. I doubt it, because of how great modern medical procedures and technology are, but hopefully it doesn’t make him play timidly. In my opinion, he was poised for a breakout season after being on the pedestrian side for the first few seasons of his career. All the best to Teddy in his recovery, but I think the Vikes got this.
Cover photo from standingsports.com