After having a career-best performance against the Saints, it was revealed on Friday that Minnesota quarterback Sam Bradford had an MRI this past week due to some swelling and pain in his left knee (the same knee in which he tore his ACL, twice). But if they can do that, Bradford will probably have another productive day with targets like Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph in addition to Thielen. Bradford gets the ball out far quicker, which will stress the pass rush.
Bud Dupree said he was restricted to individuals with his sprained AC joint, Stephon Tuitt (biceps) was listed as out of practice altogether and Sean Davis was limited by an ankle injury. After all, this was a team that jumped out to a 5-0 start a year ago before injuries and weaknesses start to crop up all over the place. During their big season-opening win against the New Orleans Saints, Minnesota limited the Saints to just 60 rushing yards on 20 attempts, which is incredibly impressive considering the Saints ranked first in the National Football League in total offense just a season ago.
"During training camp, if he made a mistake, rarely would he ever make that mistake again", Bradford said, adding: "I think that's one of the reasons, obviously, he was able to start Week 1 and play the way he did". Meanwhile the Steelers line has something to prove after the team managed just two offensive touchdowns in Cleveland, in part because of an anemic running game.
It's unlikely that Smith, at 33, has suddenly become a new and improved player. "I had one, two maybe, on my knee". Cook is a fantastic weapon, and should be too hot for the Steelers defense to handle.
Line Play - This game could be decided by which team makes the right adjustments on the offensive line.
Now, the Vikings have dropped five of their past six on the road. Ben Roethlisberger found a go to man in the redzone in James week 1, but we'll see if this connection will spill over to the rest of the season.
The Vikings are coming into this game strong, soaring of a Week one game that showed an offense that really came together. Penalties put Pittsburgh in some long-yardage situations early against Cleveland, and Bell - who rarely came off the field no matter the formation in the past - was not out there when the Steelers spread the field and emptied the backfield.