The rise of Case Keenum as a legitimate starting NFL quarterback, if viewed from its genesis point, may have been the direct result of Dalvin Cook’s devastating knee injury.

When Cook went down, these weren’t the 9-2 Vikings. These were the 2-1 Vikings an hour and change away from being the 2-2 Vikings.

From the front office perspective, the replacement (Keenum) of the replacement (Sam Bradford) of injured Pro Bowler Teddy Bridgewater was 1-2 in his stint as a starter and was viewed as anything but an offensive savior.

The Vikings had to be worried of a repeat of the three-month nightmare that began after the bye week of 2016. Their starter tore it up in Week 1 and hadn’t played since. Their dynamic running back, who tended to get better as games went on, was gone for the year.

At 2-2 and with Green Bay having improved to 4-1 on Oct. 8, the Vikings headed into their personal House of Horrors for a Monday night game on Oct. 9.

When the season was very much on the line, the Vikings went with Bradford.

It can be argued Bradford wasn’t ready to get back in the saddle and lead the posse. He looked Manning-like in the pocket – curling up in a ball to avoid the next big hit.

That was new territory for the Vikings and Bradford. In 2016, with the ever-changing makeshift offensive line he had in front of him, Bradford took some hellacious shots when trying to throw a 10-yard pass from a shotgun formation. He kept getting up last year.

He wasn’t getting up in Chicago in October.