Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

Case Keenum or Teddy Bridgewater? For now, Zimmer is mum.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum shakes hands with fans after the game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., on Nov. 12, 2017. Tommy Gilligan / USA TODAY Sports

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Even after a four-touchdown game from Case Keenum helped lift the Vikings to a fifth straight victory on Sunday, Nov. 12, head coach Mike Zimmer played coy again on his quarterback situation.

On Monday, Zimmer declined to name a starter for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams until Wednesday.

The question now is whether, and perhaps when, Zimmer will turn to Teddy Bridgewater, who was active Sunday for the first time since suffering a gruesome knee injury that had him off the field for the previous 14 months.

It's commonly assumed the Vikings eventually will turn the reins of the offense back to Bridgewater, who started 29 games after being drafted in the first round of the 2014 Draft, but Keenum's performance in a 38-30 victory at Washington might be enough to get him at least another start.

"Keenum played great most of the ball game," Zimmer said Monday.

Zimmer said he knows which quarterback will be under center in a suddenly heavyweight matchup Sunday between 7-2 teams at U.S. Bank Stadium. But because he hadn't yet told the players, Zimmer said he'd wait until Wednesday to make the announcement public.

The likely bet is Keenum, who has doesn't seem to have given Zimmer any reasons to hand starting duties to quarterback who hasn't played in anything but an exhibition since a 10-9 playoff loss to Seattle on Jan. 10, 2016.

Keenum is 5-2 as the Vikings' starter this season and certainly is familiar with Sunday's opponent. He spent the previous two seasons with the Rams before signing with the Vikings after last season.

Keenum beat out No. 1 overall draft pick Jared Goff in the preseason but was replaced after going 4-6 as starter. The Rams went 0-6 with Goff under center, but after a coaching change, he has the Rams atop the NFC West standings.

On Sunday, Keenum led the Vikings a 35-17 lead in the third quarter, but two second half interceptions helped the Redskins cut their deficit to 35-27 just 10 seconds into the fourth quarter.

"We have to learn how to play with a lead," Zimmer said. "We haven't had big leads that early in the ball games before. It's a good learning experience for us."

If anything might have opened the door for Bridgewater, it was Keenum's two interceptions. The first came 10 plays into a drive while the Vikings were nearing field-goal range. On the Vikings' next play, Washington safety D.J. Swearinger intercepted Keenum and returned the pick to Minnesota's 2-yard line.

"The two turnovers were bad," Zimmer said. "Back to back, and we had the game pretty much in hand. The rest of the game, he played pretty darn good. He moved in the pocket well, threw the ball good. He started slow in the last couple ball games, and started really fast in this game in the first half, came back in the second half a little bit.

"He's a very excitable guy. Sometimes he gets off the reservation a little bit. I talked to him a little this morning about understanding the situation of the game and where we're at and that sometimes a throw-away is a good thing."

Zimmer said his relationship with Keenum wasn't what he had developed with former starter Sam Bradford but added, "we have a good relationship; we talk all the time."

The Pioneer Press is a Forum News Service media partner.

Advertisement