The Minnesota Vikings lost Teddy Bridgewater in the preseason. Then they lost Adrian Peterson in Week 2.
Based on that information alone, you’d expect the Vikings to start 1-2 – possibly 0-3 – especially with games against the Packers and Panthers.
Instead, the Vikings are 3-0, as Sam Bradford, who is completing 67.8 percent of his passes, led Minnesota to a 17-14 win over Green Bay and a 22-10 road win over Carolina.
“I can’t really put into words what Sam has done over the last three weeks,” Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “To come into our team, he played his first game for us against the Packers a little over two weeks after walking in the door. Then you go out and play the defending NFC champions at their place, and to come away with the win in both games is unbelievable.”
Not long after the Vikings acquired Bradford, several people reached out to Rudolph to tell him how great of a guy, teammate and quarterback Bradford truly is.
“They couldn’t have hit the nail on the head any better,” Rudolph said. “Sam’s been awesome since the day he’s gotten here.”
Still, Rudolph, who is second on the Vikings in catches (14) and receiving yards (166) and first in touchdowns (two), remain close with Bridgewater. He said he was “devastated” when the third-year quarterback tore his ACL in the preseason.
“You just feel terrible for Teddy,” Rudolph said. “He’s attacking this rehab like only Teddy could – in high spirits. I was probably 15 or 20 yards away from him when it happened. It was just super bizarre. As the play ended, the ball never got thrown downfield, and then all of a sudden, everybody just kind of scattered. You could hear Teddy and you knew it was bad immediately. A lot of guys took it pretty hard. I just made sure to stay out there and made sure Teddy knew we were there for him.”
While conventional wisdom says the Vikings’ injuries will catch up to them, that hasn’t been the case thus far. It also might not be the case going forward.
“For us, it’s about just taking it one week at a time,” Rudolph said. “It sounds so cliche to say, but we can’t control (what happens). Obviously injuries are tough, and it’s a part of our game. But we feel like even with all the adversity that we’ve gone through the first three weeks of the season, we still have a ton of talent in that locker room. All of our goals that we set before the season are still very attainable if we do what we do what we got to do each and every week and not let those get out of sight.”
Minnesota hosts the Giants (2-1) on Monday Night Football on Oct. 3. Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m. ET.