Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater might be on the cusp of one of the biggest NFL comebacks in recent history.
Bridgewater lost all of last season to a serious knee injury, one thought capable of ending his career outright. The random, non-contact mishap that prompted an ambulance ride all but convinced the public Bridgewater would not return, and if he did, he wouldn’t be the same.
That line of thinking might be misguided.
Take a look at what receiver Laquon Treadwell told ESPN’s Ben Goessling:
“He’s getting the ball out before you’re breaking. He tells me he’s spent a lot of time studying film. A lot of things he would say he was messing up on, he’s looked 10 times better this year. When you go through an injury like that, film is your friend. You’ve just got to stay hungry and believe in yourself. He’ll be fine.”
“He looks great — really great. It’s like he was never hurt.”
That last note might be what we call an exaggeration, but the progress Bridgewater has made based on the severity on the injury is remarkable.
For tight end Kyle Rudolph, Bridgewater has said and done all the right things despite a dire situation:
“I have been around this game for a long time, and I do not think I have ever seen as devastating of an injury as that. When you have a road as long as he does ahead of him, it is [easy] to lose sight of having that positive mind-set each and every day, because you are never going to see a huge jump.”
Despite the hype, Bridgewater remains a long way away from stepping on the field again. The recovery track is why the team gave up so much to bring on Sam Bradford last year.
Bradford enters next season as the starter, though he won’t be able to escape the Bridgewater comeback for long.
For now, Vikings fans will just have to settle for knowing Bridgewater is saying and doing all the right things while trying to get back to his pre-injury form.