“The guys here have been awesome,” Bradford said in his postgame press conference. “Any time you join a new locker room, it’s not easy at first. But these guys have had my back since Day 1. [Backup quarterback] Shaun Hill has been right there with me the last two weeks, every step of the way. He was with me with a previous team, so he can relate things [about this offense] back to what we did in the past. All the guys have been great, and I just wanted to come out and play well for them.”
This is the best Bradford has looked in years. He played well in the second half of last season, but most people likely remember how that year started, with Bradford struggling to find his way in the offense run by former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. Before that, Bradford was best known for his health problems in St. Louis, when he missed all of the 2014 season and nine games in 2013 because of two ACL tears in his left knee. Bradford was well on his way to journeyman status in the league. He’d already seen the Eagles give up on him after they selected Carson Wentz second overall in this year’s draft.
Despite suffering a pair of ACL tears, Long has been in the mix all offseason long. He signed a deal with the Baltimore Ravens in July, but backed out a few days later after the team requested he sign an injury waiver. He has been waiting for the right opportunity ever since.
Long, like most players who have sustained a career-altering injury, maintains that this is the healthiest he’s been in a long time. Now, we will have to see if Long is healthy enough to keep Jeremiah Sirles off the field. Sirles was Smith’s initial replacement.
“A matter of fact, forget it. We felt as a team, as players, we came together and we felt like we’d never done that when we played against the Packers,” Rhodes said. “Us as DBs felt like we could handle him. That’s how we felt as DBs that we could stay on our side and cover him. In the beginning, we’d always played against them and played our sides, so that’s what we as DBs went with.”
Ditching the game plan helped Nelson go off in the first half. Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target complied 145 yards and two TDs on seven first-half receptions — some of that yardage came against Rhodes. The Packers led 28-13 before the Vikings got to the locker room and cheap nfl jerseys and Zimmer took control.
That was one example of Peterson and the team coming together to make a tough situation work. They could’ve walked away from each other, but didn’t. The team and Peterson overcame another challenging scenario when he was suspended by the NFL for violating the league’s personal conduct policy in 2014.
Traditionally, the Vikings have been loyal to Peterson, and expect that to continue. The question does exist regarding what price the former MVP is willing to play for, but there is plenty of time to figure it out.
“We all understand what it takes to win in this league,” he said. “I understand how this team is built, having spent the year with this team and seeing where our wins came from last year. There’s certainly a way to win in this league and a way to lose and coach Zimmer does a great job preaching how to win.”
He did not seem to be in any hurry to find out if next week is the week Bradford replaces him. Many expect there to be a changing of the guard this week when the Vikings open their brand new, $900 million stadium and host the rival Green Bay Packers. Zimmer was even non-committal at halftime on whether he might play Bradford after a ho-hum first half from Hill.
The Vikings’ star running back is active for Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts. Defensive tackle Toby Johnson was waived Saturday after Minnesota officially activated Peterson off injured reserve. Minnesota was planning on Peterson returning in Week 16, but a source informed told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport that at practice this week “he looks like Adrian. He’s amazing.”
Per Rapoport, Peterson also will be starting the game. Rapoport added that while Vikings won’t have a snap count for their star running back, they don’t want to run him into the ground in his return.