The Minnesota Vikings may be without starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater for a while after he suffered a "complete tear to his ACL" and other structural damage to his knee. Bridgewater suffered the non-contact injury during practice on Tuesday. The team expects Bridgewater to make a full recovery.
Teddy Bridgewater suffered a non-contact injury today at practice. The injury was quickly identified as a dislocated knee. The injury was stabilized, and he was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment and evaluation. After undergoing an MRI, it was determined that Teddy suffered a complete tear to his ACL and other structural damage. Fortunately, there appears to be no nerve or arterial damage. Surgical repair will be scheduled within the next few days. Although the recovery time will be significant, we expect Teddy to make a full recovery.
The diagnosis confirms the initial concerns the team had after Bridgewater went down in practice. Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said the situation didn't "look good" when addressing the media immediately after practice. Zimmer said that Bridgewater had to be sedated as he was being attended to.
"Let's let the kid ... let's let him get healthy," Zimmer said. "I love this kid. Our fans love this kid."
Zimmer is confident in the teams ability to move forward without Bridgewater.
"Everybody can count us out if they want," Zimmer said. "I think that'd be the wrong thing to do."
Bridgewater released a statement via the team's website, emphasizing that his "purpose will not be denied."
I want to thank the Wilf Family and the entire Vikings organization, all of my teammates, friends, Eric Sugarman and the amazing Vikings athletic training staff and the fans who have sent me messages and wished me well. Your thoughts and prayers mean a lot to me and have helped me in this difficult time. There are great players and great leaders in our locker room who are going to fight to the end to reach the goals we set for 2016. I will be there mentally, physically and in spirit to support them accomplish those goals.
In order to have a testimony, you have to have a test. I come from amazing DNA, I watched my mom fight and win against breast cancer. We will, as a team, attack my rehab with the same vigor and energy. My faith is strong, my faith is unwavering and my vision is clear. My purpose will not be denied.
The injury immediately appeared serious, as the team called off practice after 25 minutes. Players took knees as medical staff attended to Bridgewater, according to Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Bad scene. Bridgewater down in pocket grabbing left knee. Players freaked out, swearing and praying. Immobilized. Practice halted #Vikings— Brian Murphy (@murphPPress) August 30, 2016
Bridgewater is entering his third season in the league, and is coming off of a solid second season. He completed 292 of 447 passes for 3,231 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Vikings finished the season 11-5, winning the NFC North. The Vikings lost narrowly to the Seahawks in the wild card round of the playoffs with a final score of 10-9.
The team was looking to build upon last year’s successes and take a step forward in 2016, which will now be more difficult to do. Shaun Hill, 36, is currently listed as Bridgewater’s backup on the unofficial preseason depth chart, and Joel Stave is also on the roster.
Zimmer expressed confidence in Hill and the Vikings to carry on without Bridgewater.
"I have confidence in him," Zimmer said. "I have confidence in this football team."
The Vikings upgraded the offensive line this offseason, and they have one of the most dynamic rushers in the league in Adrian Peterson. Rookie Laquon Treadwell headlines a talented receiving corps, and the defense is shaping up to be solid, also.
Zimmer did not rule out acquiring a veteran quarterback.
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