Teddy Bridgewater’s 4-year journey from leg injury to Panthers starter

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /

The injury and what came next in Minnesota

The Minnesota Vikings looked primed for a Super Bowl tilt in 2016. They had a talented roster on both sides of the ball and a quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater who showed enormous promise during the previous campaign that ended with a first Pro Bowl selection.

This hope came to an abrupt halt on August 30, 2016, when Bridgewater suffered a freak injury during a non-contact drill during training camp. Such was the severity of this that Vikings’ players and coaching staff were distraught on the sidelines, watching on in horror as the franchise signal-caller was taken to hospital.

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Bridgewater dislocated his knee and tore several ligaments, including the ACL. This prognosis was worst than initially feared and it left the player fighting for his career in no uncertain terms.

It was a crushing blow to Minnesota’s chances of lifting an elusive first Vince Lombardi Trophy. They went from potential contenders to an eventual 8-8 record, missing the playoff in Bridgewater’s absence.

The road back for Bridgewater was long and strenuous. It took courage and will that is rare in a person and an NFL player. And the fact he made it back onto the field for the Vikings at all was a monumental accomplishment.

After missing almost two years, Bridgewater finally stepped onto the field late in 2017. He might have thrown a pick on his very first throw. But this was a significant milestone either way.

Sadly for Bridgewater, the NFL waits for no man. The Vikings moved on with quarterback Kirk Cousins, which left the former No. 32 overall pick on the free-agent scrapheap.