Don’t Dismiss Teddy Bridgewater As Starting QB For The Jets

    USC quarterback Sam Darnold’s New York Jets arrival has stolen some of the thunder from another great story which is Teddy Bridgewaters inspirational comeback from a career-threatening knee injury. 

    Before Teddy Bridgewaters knee exploded in a non-contact injury back in 2016, resulting in a dislocated knee and a torn ACL, the former Louisville great was coming off a sophomore NFL season with the surging Minnesota Vikings in which he showed improvement in passing accuracy and poise. 

    He knew his chance would come again, but it wouldn’t be with Minnesota, who dished out a record contract to former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins.

    Kirk Cousins on Twitter

    Feels good to spin it again!

    Teddy B signed a one-year, $6 million contract with the Jets after generating little interest in free agency and had his heart and mind set on winning a starting job and being the future of the franchise.  

    Bleacher Report NFL on Twitter

    Former Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater will sign 1-year deal with Jets tomorrow, per @AdamSchefter

    That was before Darnold arrived and Bridgewater became the forgotten man as far as the fans are concerned. In addition to the Darnold interference, no one really knows how Bridgewaters knee is feeling because he hasnt really discussed it until Tuesday when he impressed Jets coaches on Day 1 of minicamp.

    According to ESPN, Before practice, Bridgewater opened up about his long recovery, reflecting on the day it happened – Aug. 30, 2016 — and how he has managed to persevere despite long odds.

    ‘It’s in my DNA,’ he said, alluding to his mother, Rose Murphy, who overcame breast cancer.”

    Coach Todd Bowles, who called Bridgewater’s injury one of the most horrific in NFL history, respects Teddy Bs resilience even if he doesnt share Bridgewaters confidence that he can come back and win a starting job with this Jets team. 

    “All you can do is cringe. It’s probably one of the worst injuries I’ve seen since L.T.-Theismann in that Monday night game,” Bowles said, referring to the 1985 game in which Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann suffered a broken leg after being hit by the Giants’ Lawrence Taylor. “But he seems to be bouncing back well.”

    Bridgewater‘s comeback was already a success last Nov. 12, when got emotional while standing on the Vikings sideline in uniform during the national anthem for the first time since the injury that so many said hed never recover from. 

    “This game means so much to me,” he said, …you’re never out of the fight.

    Andrew Krammer on Twitter

    Sharrif Floyd and Teddy Bridgewater continue rehab off to side of #Vikings practice https://t.co/JOjHCnuBJY

    “There were dark days throughout my rehab process. When you’re rehabbing, the light seems so far at the end of the tunnel. To be able to see that light and make it to the light…it kind of hit me a little.”

    Bridgewater has participated in full practices the past month and is showing no ill effects from the injury. A healthy Bridgewater gives the Jets a solid starter to hold it down until Darnold is ready to rock and allows them to use Josh McCown as strictly a sideline mentor and personal teacher for Darnold.  

    Even if Bridgewater is not in the Jets long-term plans, he can return to his prior form, when he was the rising gunslinger for a Super Bowl hopeful Vikings team. It will be one of the NFLs captivating comeback stories. A strong showing this season sets up a nice payday for Teddy B as a starting quarterback for another team, or a formidable short-term solution if Darnolds development progresses slower than expected. 

    1500 ESPN on Twitter

    Why Teddy Bridgwater’s clutch history matters https://t.co/ZPDZQCiLxN

    Either way its a win-in situation for the Jets who go from having no legit quarterbacks to several, Bridgewater who gets to showcase his talents in a major market, prove he is fully recovered,  and establish a ,market value for his services and Darnold who wont be pressed into action prematurely by the NY fans and media if Bridgewater is winning games and performing at an All-Pro level again. 

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.