The Vikings intend to begin the Sam Bradford era on Sunday night, with the team set to displace Shaun Hill in the starting lineup and plug in the trade acquisition against the Packers, Ben Goessling of ESPN.com reports. A league source informed Goessling Bradford took each of the first-team snaps in practice this week.
Minnesota traded next year’s first-round pick and another selection that could rise to future second-rounder for the former No. 1 overall pick. The 28-year-old Bradford completed a career-best 65% of his passes for the Eagles in 2015, but when separated from Chip Kelly‘s offense, the ex-Heisman Trophy winner has never exceeded the 61% mark.
Hill guided the Vikings to a victory against the Titans but did not produce an offensive touchdown in Minnesota’s 25-16 road win. Bradford’s potential inability to make pre-snap adjustments after such a short time with the team played into Hill receiving the Week 1 nod, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes.
Here’s more from the NFC North as Week 2 Sunday nears.
- Former Vikings scouting director Scott Studwell, who remains with the team in a different capacity after stepping down from that role two years ago, said the team was able to acquire middle linebacker Eric Kendricks in the second round last year due to the second-year player’s smaller stature. “Kendricks went in the second round because he’s 6-foot,” Studwell said, via Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “In a perfect world, you might want a ‘Mike’ a bit bigger with Eric, but with his instincts for the ball, we’re not complaining. He’s a playmaker.”
- The Lions currently have Brandon Pettigrew on their PUP list but could opt to move on from the veteran tight end if they like what they see from current backup Cole Wick, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes. Pettigrew tore his left ACL last December and reworked his contract due to his PUP standing earlier this month. He’s under contract through 2017 thanks to the four-year, $16MM deal he signed in 2014.
- A potential Browns–Jimmy Garoppolo union had big support from inside the franchise’s power structure in 2014 before Jimmy Haslam ordered the staff to select Johnny Manziel, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reports. Volin, who notes the Browns studied the eventual second-round pick intensely, wonders if the new Browns’ brass would consider a Garoppolo trade after Tom Brady‘s suspension ends. The teams play in Week 5 in Cleveland, although the trade deadline doesn’t fall until November 1. A report earlier this week described third-round rookie Cody Kessler as being a ways away from being ready to contribute.
- The Bengals’ cornerback corps is flush with high draft picks, and the team added another in 2016 third-rounder KeiVarae Russell off waivers from the Chiefs.