Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was active for the first time in 672 days after a severe knee injury kept him sidelined for more than a year. He served as a backup to Case Keenum, who threw a career-high four touchdown passes on Sunday.
By all indications, Bridgewater was healthy and could have gone in when needed. Coach Mike Zimmer reiterated last week that the 2015 Pro Bowler is ready to play immediately after progressing well in his three weeks back at practice.
Even after the Vikings built an 18-point lead late in the third quarter, which then dwindled to eight after Keenum threw interceptions on consecutive pass attempts, Minnesota chose to keep rolling with Keenum, who has now led the team to six wins, including five as a starter.
Keenum is the first Vikings quarterback with 300 passing yards and four touchdowns in the same game since Brett Favre achieved that feat on Jan. 3, 2010, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
A brilliant performance by Keenum early on helped the Vikings score 28 points by halftime, the first time they’ve done that since Week 13 of the 2013 season against Carolina. Keenum exercised his mobility, throwing three touchdown passes outside of the pocket and excelled against pressure, hitting both Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen for touchdown passes when facing a blitz.
For all the good Keenum accomplished, there were some questionable throws he’d certainly like to get back. On his first interception, Keenum lofted a pass off his back foot into triple coverage. His second pick set the Redskins up at the 2-yard line.
While the Vikings will gladly take a win however they can get it, Keenum’s performance will be evaluated under a microscope as Zimmer and the coaching staff move forward to figuring out who will be the quarterback next Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams.
After Bridgewater was moved to the 53-man roster last week, Zimmer said the Vikings would approach who would start at quarterback each week on a "day-to-day" basis.
“We’ll just see how it goes,” Zimmer said. “We’ll see where we are at, where we’re going. Case has done great. We’ll just keep going from there and see how this thing all plays out.”
There’s no denying the Vikings would have struggled to reach 7-2 without Keenum at the helm. Still, the Vikings' window with their backup-turned-starter is closing. Even with how well he performed in Week 10, the good things he did were clouded by his picks that could have altered the game. Minnesota will need to make a decision on when it will turn to Bridgewater; a decision that could come sooner rather than later.