Absolutely brutal news for the Vikings yesterday as they lost Teddy Bridgewater, most likely for the season, to a non-contact drill.
You know it’s a bad sign when the team cancels practice after the injury, even though it’s just 25 minutes into practice. And then there’s the fact that Ian Rapoport from the NFL Network reported that teammates were throwing up at the sight.
I haven’t seen Bridgewater’s injury, but if his teammates were reportedly puking over it, I don’t need to see it. These are guys who spend their whole lives around the game and have seen plenty of injuries and they’re vomiting at the sight of this? That tells you just how grotesque it must have been. Same with the players who were praying, slamming helmets, and f-bombing.
According to head trainer Eric Sugarman, Bridgewater has “a complete tear to his ACL and other structural damage. Fortunately, there appears to be no nerve or arterial damage.” There’s another sign of how nasty it was – that Sugarman said “fortunately, there appears to be no nerve or arterial damage.”
And all of this in a non-contact drill? Nasty.
How brutal to lose your quarterback, and pretty much any shot at a Super Bowl, to a non-contact drill before the season even starts. But don’t tell that to head Coach Mike Zimmer. “We’re not going to stick our heads in the sand. We’re going to figure out a way. Everybody can count us out if they want. That would be the wrong thing to do.”
You can see why guys love Zim. And because of that, I won’t count them out. There was a nice buzz building about this team after winning the division last year, having some passing threats in Stefon Diggs and then adding Laquon Treadwell in the draft. Nobody was expecting Bridgewater to chuck it 50 times a game, not when you’ve got Adrian Peterson in the backfield, but they were going to be balanced.
And no, they’re not gassing up the jet, picking up Jared and Longy and heading to Mississippi to grab Brett Favre. Forget it. Not happening. No way that guy’s going from Canton to the Dilla Hunt and back to Minnesota, although I’m guessing he probably did think about it for a minute. And Peyton Manning isn’t walking through that door either.
Instead, barring a trade, you’ll most likely see 36-year-old Shaun Hill in the opener against the Titans and AP will see a steady diet of stacked boxes. If you want to give up on the season, that’s fine. Just don’t tell Zimmer. “We have guys like Everson Griffen and Harrison Smith and Brian Robison and Anthony Barr and Kyle Rudolph and Adrian Peterson and Matt Kalil, (Joe) Berger, and Fusco, Andre Smith. I can go down the line. I’ll take them with me any day.”
Does that sound like a guy who’d be grasping at straws like Favre? Hell no. It’s nearly impossible to replace what they’ve just lost, but if anyone can figure it out, it’s Zimmer.
“Hey, my wife passed away seven years ago, right? It was a tough day; the sun came up the next day. The world kept spinning. People kept going to work. That’s what we’re going to do.” And that’s the thing: Teddy Bridgewater shredded his knee. He didn’t freaking die: I get it, Vikings fans. You like the kid. You like your team — and losing Bridgewater doesn’t exactly make your road to the Super Bowl, or getting past Aaron Rodgers and the Packers any easier.
The Vikings are in a BAD PLACE at quarterback, even if Zimmer was saying all the right things about Hill. And resigning some dude named Brad Sorensen from the waiver wire ain’t going to cut it.
But credit Zimm with this. At least he didn’t come out and immediately call for the end of preseason practices — like maybe John Harbaugh would have. Zimm did what leaders do — kept his chin up and made sure everybody knew that nobody they were playing was going to feel sorry for them.
That’s football. That’s why we love it. That’s why we watch it. That’s why we talk about it.
But Teddy Bridgewater is resting comfortably, likely under medical supervision. He’s not six feet under or in a morgue. So buck up, Vikings fans. And maybe go find a new backup quarterback while you’re at it.