3 Panthers who are fighting for their long-term future in 2020

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /

Teddy Bridgewater – Carolina Panthers QB

Teddy Bridgewater was selected with the last pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He had a good start to his career, but it took a turn for the worst following his second season.

In 2015 Bridgewater made the Pro Bowl in just his second season with the Minnesota Vikings. He finished the season starting all 16 games and put up 3,231 yards and 14 touchdowns. He was on his way to a successful career.

On August 30, 2016, Bridgewater was participating in a non-contact drill at practice and dislocated his knee, tore several ligaments, and tore his ACL. It was such an unfortunate situation for a great young player.

The injury was so bad that he nearly lost his leg. Bridgewater fought through the rehab and kept a positive mindset to defy the odds and make his return in the 2017 season. It remains one of the best comeback stories in NFL history.

Unfortunately, the Vikings had moved on from Bridgewater and he found himself backing up Drew Brees over the past two seasons with the New Orleans Saints.

The former Louisville standout has kept working and waited for his opportunity to earn a starting spot in the NFL again. This season he gets his chance to prove he’s back after signing a three-year deal with the Carolina Panthers.

Bridgewater has a lot of weapons with the Panthers in D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, Robby Anderson, and star running back Christian McCaffrey. The signal-caller knows he can be a starter in the NFL and he needs a good campaign to make the most out of this opportunity.

He won’t fall out of the league with poor production. Bridgewater is too skilled to not at least be a backup somewhere. But the player hasn’t started a full season since the injury happened.

Bridgewater had some great games with the Saints last season which is why he got a great contract with the Panthers. He still has the potential to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and this season he needs to prove it.

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It may not be a make or break in a career sense. But Bridgewater needs to show he is a star. He already got his money, now he has to prove he’s worth it.