Published: Sun, September 17, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Vikings: Bradford expected to play despite ailing knee

Vikings: Bradford expected to play despite ailing knee

But in the opener at Cleveland, the Browns' style of defense and some early penalties forced the Steelers to deviate from their plan.

ESPN had reported Friday that Bradford had swelling, pain and discomfort in his knee and had an MRI last Tuesday, which was negative.

Pittsburgh defensive end Stephon Tuitt's left biceps is healing and he may be ready to play against Minnesota on Sunday.

The Vikings are coming off a 19-9 win over the New Orleans Saints while the Steelers pulled off a 21-18 come-from-behind victory over the Cleveland Browns.

So much of Minnesota's success is going to depend on its revamped offensive line keeping Bradford clean and giving him time to execute throws.

The Vikings quarterback situation is still a bit of an unknown on Saturday night.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said he expects Sam Bradford to start this week, despite reports the quarterback is dealing with a knee injury.

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The offense, however, underperformed outside of receiver Antonio Brown. So was he just rusty after holding out until after the last preseason game, or are the Steelers going to use him less in an effort to keep him fresh?

The Vikings missing the playoffs with an 8-8 record last season masked the fact that Bradford had a career year, leading the National Football League in completion percentage (71.6) and throwing just five interceptions. Pittsburgh has a stable of pass rushers that will give this new offensive line everything they want and more.

"Especially with Roethlisberger, he's always been able to take those shots down the field and scramble, move around in the pocket and hold the ball. He's a tough guy".

Also impressive in the win over the Saints was the performance of the Vikings defense.

Last week, Rudolph averaged 11.6 fantasy points per game, as he caught one touchdown against the Saints.

Meanwhile, in his first game after a holdout, Bell was limited by the Browns - and the Steelers. Cook's night included a 32-yard run on his first carry of the fourth quarter and a 33-yard burst on his last carry of the fourth quarter. He also had three receptions for 26 yards. Minnesota is one of those teams. The Steelers had 13 for 144 yards. Presently came along a wolf, and knocked at the door, and said, "Little pig, little pig, let me come in". They've got some stars. "Those guys get paid, too, and there's a reason those guys are on your team, and there's a reason that they are who they are and are drafted and all that". The "Steel Curtain" will show whether Minnesota's offensive exploits in Week 1 can be believed. So, I've got a lot of experience with them. "We've seen it during OTAs".

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