A year after a career-threatening knee injury, Teddy Bridgewater is already practicing out on the field with his teammates.
Luckily, the Vikings still have some left before deciding on the fate of Bridgewater. The team has at least three weeks prior to either activating the 24-year-old or leaving him in the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
When pressed for his assessment for his first time on field practice, he insists that he is “very confident.” In fact, he wouldn’t have joined his teammates to do some sets if he weren’t.
“I definitely believe I’ll play this year,” he said. “It’s going to take some grit. That’s just the mindset.”
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said that they are taking it slowly with Bridgewater. The quarterback may look good running and passing, but he needs to show if he can evade defenders or, if not, take the full contact without aggravating his injury.
For now, he’s only doing some light practices to familiarize himself with the plays again and also with his teammates. Zimmer will have to ratchet up the pressure in the weeks to come to determine if the knee will hold up.
The player agrees with the approach. “Just going to look for little things each day to do whatever I can to get back to who I was before and even better,” he added.
The athlete’s teammates were impressed with what they saw of Bridgewater out in the field. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs even compared him to legendary NFL quarterback and hall of famer Joe Montana.
Bridgewater also has another motivation to be out there in the field, not just in practice but also to play a full game in the NFL. In the end, he hopes that his story of perseverance and hard work will be able to motivate somebody else. “I’m one step closer,” he said.