Is two weeks enough time for Sam Bradford to be ready?
That’s the unanswered question the Vikings will have to figure out before Sunday night’s nationally-televised matchup against the Green Bay Packers, when they’ll be making the regular season debut inside the new and luminous U.S. Bank Stadium.
Head coach Mike Zimmer said he will not publicly name a starter, just as he didn’t last week before Shaun Hill started the season opener in Tennessee.
“I just figured it’d be good for sports talk radio,” Zimmer said Monday, in jest.
He added the decision has not been made.
Given what the team gave up for Bradford, the story concluded that whenever the team deems him ready he's likely going to be in there.
Hill has been given the start over Sam Bradford, for whom the Vikings traded a 2017 first-round pick and a conditional 2018 fourth-rounder to the Philadelphia Eagles last week. Bradford joined the team after Teddy Bridgewater tore multiple ligaments in his knee Aug. 30.
The team split first-team snaps between Hill and Bradford during practice this week, but it appeared the Vikings were leaning toward Hill, who has been in Minnesota since 2015 and has a more thorough understanding of the offense than Bradford. The story added that Bradford picked up things rather quickly last week and is expected to be the starter in the near future.
In news that might not mean all that much, Shaun Hill is listed as the first quarterback on the Vikings’ depth chart.
In news that might mean slightly more, Hill was practicing with the starters today.
According to Ben Goessling of ESPN.com, Hill was working with the ones during the portion of practice open to reporters, ahead of newcomer Sam Bradford.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer refused to clarify his intentions about this week, and said the reps would be divided between the guy who was backing up Teddy Bridgewater and the guy who figures to start soon if not Sunday against the Titans. Given the cost of acquiring Bradford, it’s clear he’s going to play quickly. But the sheer volume of stuff he has to learn might make a one-week turnaround difficult if not impossible, the story said.
The initial plan after the Vikings traded for quarterback Sam Bradford on Saturday was to still start veteran Shaun Hill in Sunday’s season opener against the Tennessee Titans. But plans can change, which is why coach Mike Zimmer is choosing not to announce his starting QB right now.
“I don’t know yet,” Zimmer said this afternoon. “We’ll see how it goes.”
It doesn’t hurt to make the Titans prepare for two different passers. Zimmer said he plans to divide the first-team reps between Bradford and Hill in practice this week. His first impressions of Bradford were positive.
Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater threw during team drills, although reports from the team’s session indicated that he was mostly throwing shorter passes during the workout.
Shaun Hill, who started in Bridgewater’s place, also returned to action after a day off and a day off from throwing to further return things to normal for the Vikes.
The Vikings opted not to play quarterback Teddy Bridgewater against the Seahawks last Thursday and a report emerged in the following days that Bridgewater was bothered by shoulder soreness leading up to the game. That wasn’t confirmed by the team, but the fact that Bridgewater didn’t throw in practice on either Saturday or Sunday seemed to offer further evidence that all wasn’t 100 percent with his arm. Tuesday’s practice provided reason to believe things are headed back that way, the story said.
Sunday, August 23, 2015, 12:54pm
When asked about his second-quarter interception on Saturday night, backup quarterback Shaun Hill chose diplomacy. When approached about the same play, wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson chose silence. But Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer offered a hint on Saturday night about what happened on the miscommunication between Hill and Patterson.
Asked what happened on the play, Zimmer said, "Yeah, there was miscommunication." Then asked if Patterson ran the wrong route, Zimmer replied with a smirk, "Probably -- if you were a betting man."
Those 11 words were all Zimmer said about the play, but in his second year as the Vikings' head coach, Zimmer has already become a master of saying everything while saying little. And his response suggested Patterson, who played 21 snaps on Saturday night, still has some work to do if he wants to earn the Vikings' trust as a receiver, the story said. Fantasy owners likely already knew this, however.
They aren’t going to hand him the starting job, however. On Tuesday, Rams coach Jeff Fisher said, via Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, that the team wants to have Bradford compete for the starting job with a player “not in the building now” this offseason.
It’s not clear whether Shaun Hill and/or Austin Davis, the two quarterbacks who started after Bradford’s injury, would also be invited to take part, the story mentioned. Bradford also spoke to the media and said that he thought about giving up the game immediately after suffering the second tear, but has gotten back on the rehab track. He’s running and said that he has no issues with the Rams making any moves at quarterback, the story added.
“It’s never an easy decision when you make a change in the middle part of the season,” Fisher said. “But we looked at things Monday night and had lengthy discussions with the offensive staff, and just felt that the best thing to do at this point going forward was to lean on the experienced quarterback.”
Hill suffered a quad injury in the Rams’ Week 1 loss to the Vikings, and Austin Davis took over at the position. Fisher named Davis the full-time starter following the bye week. The head coach said he told the team today that he appreciated Davis’ hard work, poise, dedication, and tireless effort in preparation. Fisher also noted that when Davis was named the starter, Hill had, for all intents and purposes, lost his job due to injury.
Austin Davis had three consecutive turnovers against the Cardinals, so with the Rams' season on life-support, HC Jeff Fisher is turning to the veteran Hill hoping that the team can string together a few wins and get back in the playoff hunt in the NFC. Hill's only appearance this season was in Week 1, when he completed 8-of-13 passes for 81 yards and an interception before injuring his arm. This move doesn't really change the outlook of the Rams' skill position players.
Monday, November 10, 2014, 7:58pm
Rams coach Jeff Fisher addressed Davis' Sunday afternoon struggles with the media early Monday evening and made it clear the Rams don't have immediate plans to go back to veteran Shaun Hill as the starter.
"He didn't have his best half," Fisher said. "He missed some opportunities, he made some bad decisions, had difficulty seeing at times. And over the last couple of weeks he's thrown four interceptions but we're going to hang in there. He's working real hard. So we'll see where it goes."
The story went on to say that if that doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement it's because it probably isn't. When Fisher named Davis the starter earlier in the season, he said Davis would get some leeway and not be pulled at the first sign of trouble. But there's little doubt that Davis has tested that patience over the past couple of weeks. Shaun Hill is waiting in the wings but the team still must feel Davis gives them the best chance to win.
Friday, October 3, 2014, 6:19pm
Rams QB Shaun Hill (thigh, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 5. Austin Davis is the Rams’ starter going forward.
Thursday, October 2, 2014, 6:31pm
Rams QB Shaun Hill (thigh) practiced fully Wednesday. Austin Davis has been named the starter going forward.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 6:31pm
Rams QB Shaun Hill (thigh) practiced fully Wednesday. Austin Davis is the Rams’ starter moving forward. He’s not a bad streaming option this week against the Eagles.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 12:17pm
The question is not going to go away anytime soon and with the St. Louis Rams on bye week, it will almost certainly persist for at least the next two weeks.
"We'll see how things go this week," Fisher said. "We'll see how Shaun is, but as I've maintained Shaun is our starter and Austin is our backup.”
Hill, of course, is still recovering from a thigh injury. But it's interesting to note that Hill's thigh was healthy enough for the Rams to keep him active as the No. 2 quarterback against the Dallas Cowboys last week. What's more, the Rams named third quarterback Case Keenum a pregame inactive, meaning had something happened to Davis, Hill would've been the only option.
Fisher offered an explanation for that Monday also. Well, sort of.
"We kept him up as the two because I felt like he could finish a game out of the shotgun," Fisher said. "But he's not ready to go under center yet.”
Friday, September 19, 2014, 7:09pm
Rams QB Shaun Hill (thigh, questionable) took limited practice reps all week and is questionable for Week 3. Hill is supposedly the starter when healthy, but Austin Davis is expected to get the start against the Cowboys.
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