4 Panthers players who need to step up at Vikings in Week 12

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Rasul Douglas
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Rasul Douglas /
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Carolina Panthers
(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater /

Teddy Bridgewater – Carolina Panthers QB

Teddy Bridgewater coming up against the team that drafted him is arguably the NFL story of the weekend. This represents a career coming full circle for the quarterback that almost lost his leg during a training camp injury with the Vikings in 2016.

It’s been a long road back to this point. But the Carolina Panthers will be expecting their quarterback to put sentiment to one side and lead the team to a fifth win of the season.

Bridgewater missed last weekend’s shutout victory over the Detroit Lions, with backup P.J. Walker playing well in his absence. This has piled even more pressure on the signal-caller to deliver the goods as he continues to try and win over a fanbase that still has questions as to whether he is the man to take them forward.

Nobody will know more about Bridgewater’s strengths and weaknesses than Mike Zimmer, who still holds strong respect for his old quarterback and recently stated he expected the former first-round pick to be his man under center for his entire tenure in Minnesota.

This could be a showpiece game for Bridgewater. Getting into an early rhythm will be crucial to dispel any nerves he may be feeling at U.S. Bank Stadium and it’s going to be interesting to see just what sort of plays Joe Brady calls in the early exchanges to make this possible.