When the NFL schedule was released in April, Sam Bradford figured he’d be playing in the Week 7 game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings.
He just didn’t have any idea he’d do so wearing purple.
Bradford on Sunday will make his return to Philadelphia, less than two months after the Eagles traded him to the Vikings. It will surely be a surreal day for Bradford, who spent the entire offseason and preseason believing he would be the Eagles’ starting quarterback in 2016.
“I was really excited about the year there. Felt I had had a really good spring. Felt things were really coming together on offense for us,” Bradford told reporters in Minnesota on Wednesday. “I looked forward to playing there.”
Still, there seem to be little, if any, bitterness from Bradford about the way his tenure in Philadelphia ended. He landed in Minnesota on a playoff-caliber team that needed a quarterback after Teddy Bridgewater’s devastating knee injury, and left a team that had traded up to draft rookie quarterback Carson Wentz with the No. 2 pick last spring.
Bradford briefly boycotted the Eagles’ offseason practices after the trade, but returned in time to have a strong training camp.
“It was a great experience. I’m sure some people find that hard to believe,” Bradford said of his year and a half in Philadelphia. “I learned a lot about myself as a person, and as a player.”
Bradford admitted the last seven weeks have been a “whirlwind” but said he is trying to not get emotional about this unique week. That, he said, would be a disservice to his Vikings teammates.
“My approach is just to keep it as normal as possible this week. I owe it to the guys in our locker room to not try to do anything special,” Bradford said. “If you get caught up in what’s going on outside the building ... that’s when things can go wrong.”
Instead, he’s hoping to use whatever inside information he might have on the Eagles to help prepare his new teammates for an important NFC game.
“Knowing how some of those guys play, it could be helpful,” Bradford said.