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Sam Bradford, Case Keenum Both Preparing to Start Against Tampa Bay

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford said Wednesday that his knee is feeling better after he missed Sunday's game in Pittsburgh.

And while Bradford said he expects to practice this week, both he and quarterback Case Keenum are preparing as if they'll start Sunday at home against Tampa Bay.

Bradford, who said he sustained the injury in the Vikings season-opening win against New Orleans, added that the next few days will determine if he is healthy enough to start against the Buccaneers.

"I would like to think that they're good, but a lot of it depends on how my knee responds when we go out there and practice this week," Bradford said of his chances of playing. "Hopefully, it'll continue to get better."

Bradford threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns against the Saints, completing 84.4 percent of his passes while recording a career-high passer rating of 143.0. He was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week following the prime-time performance on Monday Night Football.

The former No. 1 overall pick said he had hoped his knee would feel good enough to go against Pittsburgh, but that wasn't the case.

"It was one of those things where it happened in the game … I felt it when it happened and honestly didn't think it was that big of a deal," Bradford said. "The longer the game went on, it started to feel a little worse and a little worse. I woke up Tuesday, and it didn't feel very good.

"The thought was that it would continue to get better. I think it did start to feel better later in the week as opposed to Tuesday and Wednesday," Bradford added. "But I think looking back from last week to Sunday, it didn't improve or react the way I was hoping by the time Sunday came around."

Bradford also said he hoped that this was a short-term issue.

"I think we'll figure that out as we go. Hopefully, it will continue to get better as we go," Bradford said. "Hopefully, we'll look back in a few days, or whenever that time is, and it's something we're not having to deal with again.

"If it is something that lingers and we do have to deal with it, we'll figure out the best approach on how to manage it," Bradford added. 

Keenum got the start against Pittsburgh and threw for 167 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions in a 26-9 loss.

The game was Keenum's 25th career start, and the Vikings quarterback said Wednesday he was going to prepare himself as if he would start against Tampa Bay.

"I prepare every week like I'm going to play," Keenum said. "So if I'm not actually getting the rep (in practice), I'm behind, working the same footwork, the same reads, doing the same thing. Just maybe not actually handing it off or throwing it, but getting those same types of reps that I would be getting."

The Vikings are 1-1 entering the Week 3 matchup against the 1-0 Buccaneers. Tampa Bay's Week 1 game was rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma. 

Keenum said that no matter who starts for Minnesota on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Vikings need to move past last week's loss and get back on the winning track.

"Every week is important. I mean, that's the nature of this league," Keenum said. "And you have a good game, and then you turn around and have another great opponent coming in.

"That's no difference if you don't win a game; you've got another great opponent coming in," Keenum said. "We have to go out there and execute and give it our best every week."

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