Entering his third season in the NFL, Teddy Bridgewater was leading the Vikings as the named starting quarterback during training camp. He had led the team to the NFC championship the previous season, and his coaches expected him to make the leap from “competent quarterback” to “superstar” in his third campaign. However, his season was cut short before it began. On the last day of preseason practice, Bridgewater stepped back to pass in a non-contact drill, planted his foot, and suffered a gruesome ACL tear and structural damage to his knee.
That was in August 2016.
Over a year since he suffered the injury, and almost two years since he played in a game, Bridgewater was cleared to play the second weekend in November. Eager to continue his once-promising trajectory and apprehensive of what the future holds for a different, older player than the Teddy Bridgewater who last took the field, the 23-year-old quarterback was unable to contain his emotions as he sat on the sideline. While the national anthem played before Minnesota’s matchup against the Redskins on Nov. 12, Bridgewater couldn’t hold back his tears.
During warm-ups, Bridgewater showed remarkable agility so soon after sustaining what many felt was a career-ending injury.
Bridgewater will serve as the team’s backup quarterback until he’s progressed further and is prepared to resume his starting duties for the Vikings. Many are optimistic that Bridgewater will work back to that role this season, picking back up as the team’s leader to usher this season’s so far 7-2 Minnesota squad into the playoffs. After two years of hardship, Bridgewater has found support from the fans, press, and even rival players.
Welcome back, Teddy.
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