Sam Bradford won't play for Vikings Sunday

Sam Bradford is having the best season of his career, if you just count the one game he actually played.

Sam Bradford is having the best season of his career, if you just count the one game he actually played. Associated Press

Statistically, Sam Bradford's having the best year of any quarterback in the National Football League.

There's just that small problem of getting on the field and playing.

Vikings coach Brad Zimmer announced Friday that Bradford will not play in Sunday's home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and ESPN reports Bradford "did not respond well to practice this week." 

That report says Bradford was still feeling significant pain in his knee, and would seek treatment from renowned knee guru Dr. James Andrews, who performed surgeries on Bradford's left knee in 2013 and again in 2014.

Bradford had a brilliant Week 1 game, going 27-for-32 for 346 yards (3 touchdowns, no interceptions) in a Vikings win over the New Orleans Saints. Sometime during that win, Bradford suffered what's being called a "noncontact" knee injury, which then kept him out of Week 2, an ugly 9-26 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"This particular injury we're dealing with," Bradford told reporters, "I'm not sure if I've ever dealt with it before."

Bradford's command performance against the Saints means he currently leads the NFL in quarterback rating (143.0) and completion percentage (84.4 percent). 

Case Keenum started in last week's loss against the Steelers, completing 20 of 37 passes for only 167 yards in his first start since the previous November. Keenum, who played previously in Houston and then for the St. Louis/L.A. Rams, has a career win-loss record of 9-16 as a starter.

As of last weekend, Teddy Bridgewater, who missed the entirety of the 2016-17 season with a "noncontact" knee injury of his own, is expected to return to the Vikings by "mideason."

Tampa Bay is 1-0, following an easy win over the Chicago Bears last weekend. After their home engagement with the Bucs, Minnesota will play three division rivals -- hosting the Lions (who are good), then away against the Bears (who aren't), then home against the Packers (who knows?) -- before rounding out October at home against the Cleveland Browns.