Zimmer won’t name starting QB until game time

Published 8:19 am Thursday, September 8, 2016

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer wants to keep the Tennessee Titans guessing about who will start for the Vikings at quarterback when the two teams meet in the season opener on Sunday.

Titans coach Mike Mularkey thinks he has a pretty good idea who will be under center.

Zimmer declined to announce a starter on Wednesday, saying he will see how veteran backup Shaun Hill and recently acquired Sam Bradford perform in practice this week before making a decision. And even after he does decide, the coach said he would not reveal the answer until just before kickoff in Nashville.

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“I thought we’d run the single wing this week,” Zimmer deadpanned, alluding to a long outdated offensive scheme that relies solely on running the ball.

The 36-year-old Hill is in his second season in Norv Turner’s offense and clearly has the edge when it comes to familiarity with the scheme and the receivers running the routes. Bradford was acquired in a trade from Philadelphia on Saturday to give the Vikings another option after starter Teddy Bridgewater went down with a major knee injury in practice last week.

The Vikings gave the Eagles a first-round draft pick and a conditional fourth-round pick that could be even higher depending on where the Vikings finish in 2016. That kind of investment leads Mularkey to believe that the Titans will be seeing Bradford start the opener.

“He’s a very intelligent quarterback and he’s faced this defense before,” Mularkey said.

“They wouldn’t give up a 1 and a 4 to have a guy sit very long. I just think that he gives them a very good chance.”