MRI Confirms Sam Bradford Still Dealing with Bone Bruise

October 10, 2017 | insideinjuries | No Comments

Sam Bradford returned as the Vikings starting QB on Monday night, but his appearance was short-lived. Bradford had not played since week 1 due to a knee injury. He suffered a moderate bone bruise in his left knee, the same one that he twice had surgery on to repair ACL tears.

Entering week 5, we tabbed Bradford as a Risky Fantasy Start due to his Elevated Injury Risk and Below Average Health Performance Factor. He wasn’t ready to return, and it showed in our numbers.

Bradford didn’t even make it through the first half and never looked comfortable. We pointed out on Twitter earlier in the week that it didn’t look like he was able to drive through his front (left) leg when delivering passes. That was a sign that his knee needed more time to recover and he wouldn’t be able to protect himself in a real game. It didn’t take long to realize Bradford wasn’t ready to be on the field. He wasn’t stepping through his throws and his accuracy was off.

While the Vikings say this is a new injury, a quote from Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman offers a different opinion on Bradford’s diagnosis:

“We’re not dealing with a ligament injury to Sam…We’re not dealing with a bone bruise from a direct hit … wear and tear in knee joint.”

If it isn’t a bone bruise and there is no ligament damage, then there must be something else going on in the knee. Because he has had two serious knee surgeries, it is no surprise that the knee isn’t in perfect condition. There could be some cartilage damage, scar tissue buildup or arthritis, all of which can be painful and limit a player’s performance. It’s a complicated situation, but it is possible that there is both a bone bruise and other damage to the knee. The only good news is that we continue to get confirmation that there is no ligament damage.

Case Keenum will remain the starter for now, but Teddy Bridgewater could be thrown into the mix when he is eligible to return after week 6. Bridgewater suffered a dislocated knee that resulted in an ACL tear and other ligament damage last year during the preseason. It’s been a long recovery, but so far everything has gone as planned. Keenum has stepped up and gotten the job done so far, but Bridgewater could provide some competition if he looks healthy upon returning to practice.

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