MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- In a span of 14 days, the Vikings have gone from a 1-0 start to a 1-2 record. Adrian Peterson's image has been all but wiped from the franchise, and major injuries are piling up, from their starting quarterback to their starting tight end.
Only three weeks into the season, the Vikings are already missing many of their biggest names: Matt Cassel, Kyle Rudolph, Chad Greenway, and Brandon Fusco -- not to mention Adrian Peterson and Jerome Simpson.
"Our expectation level is the guy that comes in has to come in and perform like he's supposed to," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. "So our expectation level doesn't change because of injuries."
But the injuries are many, and are starters. Zimmer said Fusco has a pectoral injury, and is getting a second medical opinion on it this week.
Rudolph has a core injury and might need surgery. He'll see a specialist in Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Greenway now has a broken rib to go with his broken hand.
And Cassel has a broken foot. He'll meet with a specialist Thursday to learn more.
Which means the offense is now Teddy Bridgewater's for the foreseeable future. Zimmer said not much should change.
"I don't think (there's anything Teddy can't) do anything that Matt did," Zimmer said. "I think Teddy can do a few more things than Matt could do, at some point in time. (But) obviously we're going to change some, because of who's taking the snaps, because we're going to try to do what he's doing better."
Christian Ponder is now the Vikings' backup quarterback. He was impressed with Bridgewater's performance Sunday.
"He played well," Ponder said. "I remember the first preseason game, I asked Teddy if he was nervous or not, and of course he said no. And I thought, he's just a liar. But the guy doesn't get nervous."
Center John Sullivan said his teammates have "full confidence" in Bridgewater.
"We should win every single game we play with him at quarterback," he said.
But the Vikings issues go much further than quarterback. They're a mess on the field, off the field, and now in the trainer's room.
"You never plan on having these many injuries as you have," Zimmer said. "But we're not going to make excuses about it."
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