Coming off a year in which he missed all but two games, Minnesota Vikings quarterback and pending free agent Sam Bradford “absolutely” intends to continue his NFL career in 2018, according to an NFL Network report.
Some had wondered if the 2010 No. 1 overall pick might retire, considering Bradford’s career earnings of more than $114 million and a seemingly endless list of significant injuries through eight NFL seasons.
According to NFL Network, the 30-year-old QB has been told by Dr. James Andrews that his left knee joint is sound, with ligaments intact and no reason to be concerned moving forward. Andrews performed an arthroscopic procedure on Bradford’s knee in November, cleaning up a bone spur and some cartilage that was causing discomfort.
Bradford tore the anterior cruciate ligament in the same knee in 2013 and 2014, but played in 29 of a possible 32 games during the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
After a stellar 2017 opener (27-of-32, 346 yards, three TDs), he sat out the next three games with what was reported to be soreness from a bone bruise.
Bradford then started Week five against the Chicago Bears but was relieved at half-time after the knee continued to bother him. He visited Andrews for the arthroscopic procedure a few weeks later and went on injured reserve, before being activated as a backup for the Vikings’ two playoff games.
Scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency, Bradford isn’t expected to return to Minnesota, which acquired him from the Philadelphia Eagles for first and fourth-round picks shortly before the 2016 regular season began, after then-starter Teddy Bridgewater suffered a serious knee injury in practice.
Bridgewater and incumbent Vikings starter Case Keenum are also set to become free agents next month.
Through two seasons in Minnesota, Bradford made 17 starts, completing 71.8 percent of his passes for 4,259 yards, 23 touchdowns and five interceptions, good for a QB rating of 101.1. He has a career rating of 85.1 and a record of 34-45-1 as a starter.