The Vikings offensive line has been without their center for the last couple of games. Garrett Bradbury missed the two games with a back injury.
And Bradbury was involved in a minor car accident on the way home from Saturday’s game against the Colts, in which he did not participate. All parties are fine, but he tweaked his back injury again. His status for the game against the Giants on Saturday is in question. The Vikings lineman had a non-participant status at practice on Tuesday.
The 2022 campaign has been, by far, the best season of Bradbury’s career. The former first-round pick struggled in the first three seasons of his career. While his run blocking has always been fine, the pass protection has been a huge problem. His overall PFF grades reflect his improvement in his fourth season.
- 2019 – 57.8
- 2020 – 61.4
- 2021 – 60.2
- 2022 – 70.2
The 70.2 grade is the 10th-best in the league. Bradbury’s pass blocking is also much improved, as he ranks 16th with a 68.2 grade. In recent years, Bradbury ranked near the bottom of the league.
After the season, Bradbury will be an unrestricted free agent, as his four-year rookie deal will be expired. There’s a good chance that a team will pay a lot of money for the center, as most teams in the league are desperate to find help for their offensive lines.
Vikings Lineman Had an Accident
The Vikings should try to keep him on the team since he has shown improvement. If he leaves, however, they would have to bring in a replacement. A good spot to target centers in the draft is the third round.
The offensive line has been improved this season, in part because of Bradbury. Christian Darrisaw’s emergence as a star left tackle is another huge upgrade. He is one of the elite players in the league but also missed a few games with a concussion.
Brian O’Neill, his counterpart on the right side, has been one of the most reliable players in the league since he joined the Vikings in the 2018 draft. O’Neill went to his first Pro Bowl after the 2021 season and has a chance to go again in 2022. The Vikings employ arguably the best tackle duo in the game.
The guard play was shaky for a long time in Minnesota, and it still is, despite starting two second-rounders at the spots. Ezra Cleveland is an above-average guard but has a couple of nightmare games every season. Ed Ingram is playing right guard. The rookie is still struggling heavily, especially against pass rushers. He could be a candidate for a second-year jump, as he is a talented player, but for now, he’s a liability.
Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt