The Minnesota Vikings made what could be called a controversial decision when cutting their roster down to 53 last week, choosing to keep McLeod Bethel-Thompson as their No. 3 quarterback and releasing Sage Rosenfels. Going with the younger Bethel-Thompson fits with the plan put in place by general manager Rick Spielman to make the Vikings’s roster younger, but the fact Rosenfels seemed to be a Spielman favorite made the decision to let him go somewhat curious.
Bethel-Thompson will obviously enter the season as Minnesota’s third quarterback, and it would take significant injuries to starter Christian Ponder and most likely backup Joe Webb for him to see action at all this season. The Vikings’ coaches were impressed by Bethel-Thompson’s arm strength as well as his on-field command enough to consider him someone they had to keep. They could have placed him on waivers in the hope he went unclaimed and could then be placed on the practice squad, but that clearly was not a risk anyone in a position of power in terms of roster moves wanted to take.
So what are the odds Bethel-Thompson starts a game for the Vikings this season? Needless to say it would take a virtual disaster for him to see the field extensively, let alone start a game. But the Vikings have a very tough late season schedule, and if they are on track to match their 2011 record (3-13) they will be in a position to give a lot of players a chance to prove themselves. Of course Ponder would have to be out and Webb would either have to be injured or be struggling when opposing teams can gameplan for him as the starter, but slim as the odds are it’s not out of the question that Bethel-Thompson would make his first NFL start at some point.