Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater Is Back To Business

    Some pessimists, or maybe they were realists, said that Teddy Bridgewater may never play again when the rising star suffered a dislocated knee and torn ACL on Aug. 30, 2016. The injury forced him to miss all of his third pro season and upended the foundation he was building after earning his first Pro Bowl nod for leading the Vikings to an 11-5 mark, completing 65.3 percent of his passes and slinging for 3,231 yards and 14 touchdowns with just nine picks. 

    Bleacher Report on Twitter

    A healthy Teddy Bridgewater is Morgan Freeman in ‘Shawshank Redemption’ (@Playstation) https://t.co/uy5F0rgwcS

    Before that life changing day, Bridgewater was on the cusp of breaking into the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks. His leadership ability was evident and Minnesota was a popular pick to advance to the Super Bowl in the near future. Those plans got a bit thwarted when Teddy B took his mighty fall. Star quarterbacks go down all the time, but you never get over losing a top talent early in his career and Bridgewater was a fan favorite and respected in the locker room. Fans don’t get over it, but they can forget you as time passes, just ask RG III. 

    Having been through the physical and mental rehab, Bridgewater had some supportive words for Texans rookie DeShaun Watson, who was breaking records before he recently tore his ACL in practice. 

    Teddy Bridgewater on Twitter

    Damn @deshaunwatson this one hurt . You’ll be back better than ever young .

    To prepare for Bridgewaters hiatus, the Vikings acquired Sam Bradford via trad. Bradford did his part to ease the loss of Bridgewater. The first pick of the 2009 Draft set an NFL record for completion percentage (71.6) in 2016 when he threw for a career-best 3,877 yards. His stats were solid, but the magic and excitement of Teddy B was gone. The optimism that Vikings fans had about their future and Bridgewaters potential turned into doubt that he’d ever play again. 

    The Vikings have remained competitive in Bridgewaters absence and this season they are 6-2. Bradford came out like gangbusters this season completing 27-of-32 pass attempts for 346 yards and three touchdowns in a 2919 win over the New Orleans Saints, earning him his first NFC Offensive Player of the Week award in Week 1, but then he was ruled inactive for the Week 2 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers due to a knee injury and after missing three more games, on October 10, it was revealed that Bradford was diagnosed with wear and tear on his knee after two previous ACL surgeries.

    Ian Rapoport on Twitter

    The #Vikings need a roster spot with Teddy Bridgewater going on the 53-man and with QB Sam Bradford out several weeks at least after last night’s knee procedure, they can make an easy swap today. Bradford headed to Injured Reserve.

    On Wednesday, Bradford was put on the injured reserve list with HIS future now in limbo. The game of musical chairs that is the NFL quarterback position now favors journeyman Case Keenum who will start in Bradffirds absence, but it appears that Keenum is just keeping the seat warm for Bridgewater who was officially activated and added to the to the 53-man roster on Wednesday. 

    Keenum has led the Vikings to three straight wins. He is 149-of-233 passing for 1,610 yards with seven touchdowns and three interceptions for a career-best passer rating of 88.8 this season. Hes done a solid job, but the activation of Bridgewater is a major milestone for the recovery process of the fourth-year quarterback.With Bridgewater scheduled to start participating in practices and Minnesota finally openly speaking about him as an option at quarterback, the long journey back is almost complete for the almost forgotten Teddy B. 

    Teddy Bridgewater on Twitter

    Gotta thank the Lord, it could’ve went another way, could’ve let my dreams fade away but I ain’t never lose faith..” – @TheRealLilDred

    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.