Even with Teddy Bridgewater returning to practice, Case Keenum should remain the Minnesota Vikings starting quarterback for the foreseeable future.
After Teddy Bridgewater was cleared to practice this week, there’s been lots of speculation about his potential return to the lineup and many puns about Case Keenum’s starting quarterback spot. Yet, the Minnesota Vikings would be wise to stick with Keenum as long as he is playing well. After the Monday Night Football debacle against the Chicago Bears, the Vikings can’t afford to rush another QB back from a knee injury.
With Keenum at QB, the Vikings have found a good, winning formula: take care of the ball, rely on their playmakers, and ride the defense. Keenum is currently 11th in the NFL in passer rating at 93.1. That number is ahead of the like of Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, and Philip Rivers. In addition, he has thrown five touchdowns and only one interception in five games played this year. Given the excellent play of the defense, those numbers are more than enough for the Vikings to win games.
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Many people may suggest that Keenum has never sustained success as a starter in his NFL career and in reality, they aren’t wrong. But, don’t forget that Keenum is the NCAA career passing leader at 19,217 yards, so he definitely has the talent and ability to play the position well. Not to mention, he’s only in his fifth season, so there’s still plenty of room for growth in the 29-year old’s game. In fact, we are likely witnessing some of that growth right now.
While I’m a big Teddy Bridgewater fan as is head coach Mike Zimmer, Keenum gives the Vikings their best shot at the NFC North title this season. The Vikings may view Bridgewater as their long-term QB, but he hasn’t practiced in 14 months. Teddy is going to need time to get back to game speed, and Keenum has shown that he is more than capable of helping this team win. So, if Teddy doesn’t see the field this year, there should be no complaints as long as the Vikings continue winning.
With the injury to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the NFC North is now wide open for the taking. Having Teddy back is fantastic and I can’t give enough credit to Eric Sugarman and the rest of the training staff for getting him healthy again. However, the Vikings would be wise to stick with Keenum for now.