Wed, Oct 11, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Case Keenum shines as Vikings beat Bears


Everson Griffen of the Minnesota Vikings, left, strips the football from quarterback Mitchell Trubisky of the Chicago Bears in their NFL game in Chicago, Illinois, on Monday.

Photo: AFP

Case Keenum gave the Vikings the lift they needed, and that was just enough to spoil Mitchell Trubisky’s highly anticipated debut.

Keenum on Monday led three second-half scoring drives after Sam Bradford’s troublesome left knee flared up again as the Minnesota Vikings beat Trubisky and the Chicago Bears 20-17.

Kai Forbath kicked a 26-yard field goal in the closing seconds after Harrison Smith intercepted Trubisky and the Vikings (3-2) came away with the win after dropping two of three.

“I didn’t know [if I would play],” Keenum said. “That’s something I’ve tried not to think about. I tried to approach the week like I was starting. I did the same thing I did the previous four weeks. I did the same thing I’ve done every week I’ve been in the NFL. I’ve tried to prepare like I’ve been the starter.”

Called on after Mike Glennon struggled in the first four games, Trubisky played like he belonged. The No. 2 overall pick was 12 of 25 for 128 yards with a touchdown.

The interception came after the Bears (1-4) took over on their 10 with 2 minutes, 32 seconds left in the game. Smith picked off a pass intended for Zach Miller on the right sideline at the 22.

The Vikings got the ball at the 28 and Forbath booted the winner with 16 seconds left.

Sidelined the previous three games because of swelling and soreness in his surgically repaired left knee, Bradford aggravated the joint when he was tackled in the first half.

With limited mobility, he completed just five of 11 passes for 36 yards and was sacked four times — including a safety by Leonard Floyd.

Bradford was listed as limited in practice during the week, although coach Mike Zimmer said there was “no doubt” he would play.

He was not sure how much more time Bradford would miss.

“We wouldn’t put him on the field if he wasn’t healthy enough to play,” Zimmer said. “He was very confident about it. He felt good about it. The medical people felt good about it. Everybody.”

Keenum replaced him with 25 seconds left in the first half, and went 17 of 21 for 140 yards and a touchdown.

Jerick McKinnon had a 58-yard touchdown run.

The Bears simplified their offense for Trubisky, with fewer receivers and extra blockers at times, but he still showed the mobility and arm strength that convinced general manager Ryan Pace to trade up a spot with San Francisco to grab him on draft night.

“I was trying to just [elevate teammates] with my presence, how much I love this game and how much I love this team,” Trubisky said. “I think they have faith in me. They believe in me when I’m in that huddle and when I’m making plays.”

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