Vikings’ Case Keenum first in line for backup role

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 15: Quarterback Case Keenum
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 15: Quarterback Case Keenum /

Expect the six year veteran Case Keenum to start the season as Sam Bradford’s backup.

When the Minnesota Vikings signed quarterback Case Keenum at the end of March, it was nothing more than an afterthought at the time. Sam Bradford played well last season and fans were more focused on the high profile free agent signings and the upcoming NFL Draft to supplement the roster at that time.

However, with the season only weeks away, the importance of the second string quarterback is worth consideration. Bradford has torn both ACL’s in his career and Teddy Bridgewater does not appear close to a return, at least in the first half of the season. It is disconcerting to think that his leg shattered without contact and with a simple plant to throw. This probably does not bode well for his long term football health and success.

Keenum is set to take on Taylor Heinicke for the backup role throughout training camp. Heinicke is a three year pro that went undrafted from Old Dominion. Heiicke showed promise in a couple of preseason games two years ago.  Keenum is a  six year professional and played well early in the season with the St. Louis Rams as the starter a year ago. Keenum finished with an 87.7 passer rating and apparently has earned the respect of offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. The offensive coordinator said this to on his newest signal caller at camp yesterday, after viewing him through the offseason and OTA’s.

"“I think he’s done a really good job for us, in terms of he’s a pro, he’s a veteran,” Shurmur said. “He’s been through this more than once, and you can see the way he operates out there that he’s got a veteran level to his game, from the cadence to making sure guys are lined up right to calling the play. It’s pretty obvious that he’s played the game a long time.”"

More from Sporting Sota

Any backup signal caller is only a play away from taking the field on a short term basis. Never mind a broken arm or torn ligament to the starter, which would surely destroy most any team’s chances of playoff success.

The Vikings are set to win now and like most every other team, if their starter goes down, the best they can hope for is the backup to win a game or two during a short stretch of games until the incumbent gets back onto the field.

Keenum has shown that he can win in the NFL and Vikings’ fans can take solace in this. Fans should be optimistic about the club’s opportunity to rise above a short term setback to Bradford.

Next: Let's check out the Vikings position battles!

Sporting Sota is your home for all things Minnesota sports! Keep it here for all your Minnesota Vikings, Timberwolves, Gophers, Twins, Lynx and Wild needs!