Teddy Two Gloves talks about participating in practice with Minnesota Vikings, reaching his “mini milestone” coming off a career threatening knee injury.
Teddy Bridgewater practiced with the team for the first time Wednesday, October 18, since being taken off the team’s Physically Unable to Perform list earlier this week. This was a mini milestone of his ever since sustaining a noncontact career threatening knee injury a season ago in August, Bridgewater told reporters Thursday.
“Its just great to be out there with the guys. I’ve been working in the doghouse, in the backyard, by myself,” Bridgewater said.
Everyday since the injury he’s been thinking about running out the tunnel and being suited in his no. 5 Vikings jersey, he said. Its what “motivated” him through the rehabilitation process, he said. He’s aware that this speedy recovery is nothing short of a miracle.
“For me to be standing right here talking about practicing yesterday, that just shows how good God is,” Bridgewater said.
With Vikings running a new offense under coordinator Pat Shurmur Bridgewater has been learning the new offense from the sidelines since last year when Shurmur took over for Norv Turner after his resignation. Even before being on the active roster this season, he’s been watching film and getting into his normal routine.
There’s one teammate who expressed how glad he is to see Bridgewater’s patented smiled again. That’s wide receiver Stefon Diggs. During Diggs rookie season in 2015 the two built chemistry together, with Diggs being the Vikings top receiver in catches and yards, helping Vikings win the NFC North division that season. In 13 games played, being a starter in nine, Diggs recorded 52 catches, 720 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
After seeing Bridgewater go down last season and comeback to practice Wednesday, its provided a lift, Diggs explained. Throughout the entire recovery process when Diggs did see Bridgewater he was positive and kept a smile on his face, Diggs said.
“If that doesn’t inspire you I don’t know what will,” Diggs said. “I’m just happy he’s back…hardworking man…he fits right in with the good guys we have in that room. He’s always been a good leader.”
The past two years Vikings faced adversity. Bridgewater went down to injury, Adrian Peterson was injured last year missing 13 games, head coach Mike Zimmer was going through eye surgeries missing time with the team, Turner resigned midway through the season and this year Sam Bradford has been battling a knee injury where backup Case Keenum has had to fill in for five games. Still, this season Vikings are first place in NFC North at 4-2.
“This team is probably some of the best guys I’ve been around when it comes to adversity,” Bridgewater said. “I’m proud of this team.”
Through his personal injury process Bridgewater has learned one thing about the NFL.
“Nobody is going to feel sorry for you,” he said.
Battling his way back on the field he’s throwing with more zip than he did before the injury as he’s done more upper body workouts to build his arm strength, he said. Now back on the practice field, Bridgewater is expecting to make his return in an NFL game this season.
“I definitely believe I’ll play this year,” Bridgewater said.
By Gino Terrell