On Thursday, the one-time journeyman was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month after extending the Vikings’ winning streak with impressive November showings against the Washington Redskins, Los Angeles Rams and Detroit Lions.
Keenum threw for 866 yards and seven touchdowns in those three games, registering a 71.1 completion percentage and a 114.0 passer rating, while helping the Vikings’ seize control of the NFC North.
He was sacked just twice in November and has been brought down only seven times this season, a figure we’ve covered extensively.
It’s been a wild year for Keenum — the same calendar year in which he was also a backup for the then-hapless Rams — once considered an afterthought in the Vikings’ search for a long-term solution at quarterback. He started the season behind a seemingly rejuvenated Sam Bradford, only to take over as the starter in Week 2 after Bradford aggravated his surgically repaired knee.
Bradford returned in Week 5, but lasted just half a game before handing the job back to Keenum.
Keenum’s status as the starter — or more broadly, his status with the Vikings — has been in question throughout the season thanks to the return of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The Vikings activated the former first-round pick on Nov. 8, while head coach Mike Zimmer has regularly declined to name Keenum the team’s full-time starter.
Keenum has built a surprising rapport with the team’s receiving corps, most notably former undrafted free agent Adam Thielen, who recently became the first Vikings pass-catcher to reach 1,000 receiving yards in a single season since 2009.
Once an undrafted free agent himself, Keenum set numerous NCAA records at the University of Houston, before signing with the Houston Texans. He was eventually claimed off waivers by the Rams, signed with the Texans again in 2014, returned to the Rams the following year, then signed a one-year deal with the Vikings on March 31, 2017.