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Vikings QB Sam Bradford to miss third straight game due to knee injury

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford hands the ball off in the second quarter against the New Orleans Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Sept. 11, 2017. Brad Rempel / USA TODAY Sports

MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford will miss a third straight game Sunday, Oct. 1, because an injury to his twice-operated-on left knee.

Coach Mike Zimmer ruled Bradford out for the team's home game against the Detroit Lions (2-1) on Sunday after Bradford missed another practice Thursday.

"He's feeling better, he's just not ready to play," Zimmer said.

Bradford has been out since injuring the knee on a non-contact play in the season opener Sept. 11.

"Day to day" was how Zimmer described Bradford's status Thursday. "I don't know what day to day is. Day to day."

In Bradford's absence, Case Keenum will make his third straight start for the Vikings. He passed for 369 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in the Vikings' 34-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Zimmer re-iterated Thursday that Bradford will not need surgery.

The longer Bradford remains injured, the greater chance of an eventual quarterback competition with he and Teddy Bridgewater, who has been out for 13 months due to a severe knee injury.

Bridgewater is eligible to be activated from the physically unable to perform list after the Vikings' Week 6 game against the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 15, and Bridgewater reportedly will be healthy enough to play then.

Reiff's old team

Sunday's game against the Lions will mark the first time new Vikings left tackle Riley Reiff goes up against the team he spent the first five seasons of his NFL career with, playing in 77 games with Detroit.

But rematches against former teams are usual business in the NFL, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said, downplaying the matchup.

"That happens every week," Shurmur said. "Trust me, I'm one of them. We've all moved around enough where we've got insight on every place we've been. But things change, people change. I think what's important is we as coaches and players have got to attack and really game plan for what we see on film. Obviously, you can get some insight on personalities and what not. I personally don't think too much into that. If there's a code word (you remember), maybe (it can help). They're going to change it because they know he's here. I don't look into that too much."

Hunter's tough task

After recording 12.5 sacks in a surprising sophomore season last year, Danielle Hunter remains without a sack after three games with the Vikings this season.

But after last season and with a new starting role at defensive end, he's been drawing more double teams, defensive coordinator George Edwards said.

"I think with his success that he had last year, a lot more people are aware of who he is and do certain things protection-wise, whether it's helping with a chip or protection going one way or the other," Edwards said. "Every week is a different matchup. It just depends on who we are playing and what they are deciding to do protection-wise."

Edwards said those double teams helps Everson Griffen, who has a team-high four sacks.


Right tackle Mike Remmers (illness) was the only player other than Bradford to miss Thursday's practice. Rashod Hill took his spot on the offensive line.

The Pioneer Press is a Forum News Service media partner.