Note from the Writer: I want to point out that a ton of current players are also kneeling during the National Anthem. Teams the Vikes will play, at home, will have players kneeling. Teams that have wife beaters, players with extreme DUIs are on the roster. He’s been singled out because, yes, he started it but if it’s okay for other players it should be okay for the Vikes. It’s a free country, right? Also, he always tears up Green Bay, which is enough for me.
If you’ve been following purplePTSD.com for awhile you’ll remember that after Teddy went down with a knee/leg injury last season I was advocating that the Vikings pick up one Colin Kaepernick. The main issue there, outside of what some of the fans may think, is that (now former) Vikings left guard Alex Boone had made some negative comments about Kaepernick’s protest of the national anthem. So, it would’ve been awkward to have the guy that’s partially responsible for covering the QB’s blind side, really disliking that QB. Now, I understand that the fans/our readers have also formed a negative opinion about Kaepernick and that that’s something teams are obviously taking into account (despite the fact that a ton of current players are doing the exact same thing). I do. But I think the best way to explain this is a text that my BFF sent me this morning that essentially stated that he “hated Kaepernick” on a personal level but that the Vikings can’t get by on the play of Case Keenum so he’d take Kaepernick grudgingly. So, you have to ask yourself the same question he (and subsequently I) did… Can you separate your personal feelings for Kaepernick from your love of the Vikings? Because at this point, I can. Let me explain to you why.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer comes from the school of thought that you should be as coy as possible when discussing player injuries to the media. The idea that the other team won’t know what’s coming at them means that perhaps there’s a competitive advantage there (by forcing them to game plan against two potential QB’s). The problem with that scenario is that when the team is planning against a QB like Keenum, who clearly showed against the Steelers that he isn’t anywhere near the level of a starting NFL QB, it really eliminates a lot of the planning from that equation. Sure, Keenum shined in the pre-season, but he was playing against the two’s and three’s then (when teams basically just show their base defense). So, why bother “tricking” other teams when your starting QB can’t make the proper throws? A perfect example of this is when Zimmer clearly used that line of reasoning after the Steelers game in which he said:
“Sam is fine, he might play one game from now, he might play six weeks from now. Either way, he’s fine.”
So, we don’t know when Bradford will be back. Could be next week could be… SIX WEEKS?!? While I’m sure that’s some form of Parcellian subterfuge, it’s still a terrifying concept. After Bradford played arguably the best game of his career and showed that he can be an elite quarterback, his body realized that he was a Viking and decided to break down after a game in which he was only sacked once. While we’re accustomed to this nonsense as Vikings fans, this one really, really hurts. As I’m sure you know, we hosted a viewing party for the Saints game and afterwards we were all beyond excited about the game, Sam’s play and the season as a whole. As Vikings fans do, though, we all joked about the other shoe dropping at some point. Little did we know it’d happen the next day. If you listen to the purpleJOURNAL Podcast, also, you’d have heard me talk all season that I was worried that Sam’d get hurt. It seems like this always happens. A season after our QB gets blasted 500 times they end up getting hurt after the offensive line is fixed and everything falls into place. So, again, this one really stings as Bradford was playing so well and the team made the 2016, 5-0 Vikings look like the 2016 post-Bye Vikings. As an organization, as well, I’m sure it hurts as they’ve done everything they can to put together a winning team and they keep having these injury issues. They’ve built this offense around Bradford and have really put everything on the line to really go for it while the window of opportunity is open after doing the same with Teddy and dealing with a left knee/leg injury. So, the question is, how bad is Bradford’s knee, really? If it’s something that’ll keep him out for those six weeks, what are they willing to do in the mean time?
Last season they gave up a first rounder when they ended up in this position to nab Bradford. While they could’ve grabbed Kaepernick as well, the offense had Pat Shurmur who has been with Bradford essentially his entire career so that move made more sense. Now, though, they can grab Kaepernick for the veteran minimum, without giving up any picks in the process. That sounds like something they’d actually do. Also, considering Zimmer has a history of working with players with bad reputations thanks to his time in Cincy, you’d think that he’d be more than happy to work with someone like Kaepernick, who is at least good enough to give the Vikings a chance until Bradford can come back. Keep in mind that Teddy can also be available at some point this season, but that’s still a few months out and if Bradford’s knee doesn’t get better by next Sunday, they really need to consider going after Kaepernick. They also have the cap space, at least according to SportTrac.com.
Now. I understand that people would be extremely “upset” by that move but really if Bradford is going to be out for six weeks you have to ask yourself if you’re willing to blow another season because they won’t win with Keenum at the helm. This team is built to win now and unfortunately, they have the luck of the Vikings so things keep getting turned sideways. You would’ve thought the injury bug was gone after last season’s amazing display of bad luck, but of course that isn’t the case so it really comes down to whether or not you’re going to let the personal supersede the professional and not go after a quarterback who is leaps and bounds better than Keenum simply because he’s kneeling during the National Anthem (Again, which is something players on nearly every team are doing). If you believe that he shouldn’t get political during his job, or that he should remove his politics from football, perhaps we should all do the same and just focus on trying to win until Bradford gets back. Bradford’s shown that he can carry this team and if he’s out six weeks and the team can break even during that time, it should be good enough for the Vikings to make the playoffs after he returns. It wouldn’t cost the team much, especially after they cut Boone, so I say… Go for it. But then again, I’m biased because I just don’t want to write about a Case Keenum lead Vikings. I really, really want them to win and I thought that we had a great shot this season. So… I’m just not ready to abandon that… Yet. To me, this is a desperate times calling for desperate measures situation. Again depending on the severity of Bradford’s injury, which, I have zero faith in being corrected anytime soon.