Sam Bradford tries to play through knee injury, gets replaced

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford (8) was benched on Monday night when he didn't look fully healthy. (AP)
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford (8) was benched on Monday night when he didn’t look fully healthy. (AP)

Sam Bradford has dealt with his share of injuries as an NFL player, but you couldn’t question his toughness on Monday night.

You could question why the Minnesota Vikings let him start. Bradford, who hadn’t played since Week 1 due to a knee injury, played against the Chicago Bears. He was a shell of himself. He wasn’t mobile and went down easily on contact. He didn’t have much on his throws, perhaps because his knee isn’t right yet.

Finally, the Vikings had to make a change. Bradford was benched right before halftime for Case Keenum. At that point the Vikings had one net passing yard with Bradford playing nearly two full quarters. They led the Bears 3-2, but the only score came after the Bears turned it over deep in their territory.

It was pretty clear Bradford was in harm’s way and needed to come out. Robert Griffin III blew out his knee when Mike Shanahan wouldn’t pull him from a playoff game at the end of his rookie season, even though Griffin was clearly hobbled. Griffin was watching on Monday night:

Bradford has had knee problems before, and it’s a bit murky exactly what’s wrong with his knee now. But he clearly wasn’t fit to play on Monday night. That probably restarts the clock on Bradford’s return to the lineup. Minnesota doesn’t have a bye until Nov. 5. If Bradford doesn’t improve significantly from his physical state on Monday, we might not see him again before then.

Bradford has been injured often in his career. He started this season with a huge game against the Saints, but injured his knee at some point that night. Based on what we saw Monday, it might wipe out a significant part of a season that looked so promising after one week, unless there’s a really quick recovery.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!