Kyle Rudolph, Adrian Peterson, Captain Munnerlyn, Alex Boone and a couple other players went in to try and cheer their teammate up but, much to their surprise, he was already in high spirits. They all said that they were going in expecting the worst, but it turned out that Bridgewater was the one cheering the rest of them up.
“We all came in there pretty bummed out, but he got everyone excited,” Boone said.
“It was good to see him. When the doc walked in and he was like, ‘Do you need any meds?’ and he was like, ‘No, these guys just walked in. I’m good now.’ So he was still able to have his sense of humor,” Peterson said. “He was in good spirits. It just was good to be able to talk to him and let him know, ‘We’ve got your back and we’re here with you.’”
Everyone was surprised by how little he was letting the injury affect him, but at the same time they knew they should have expected it. Bridgewater is always an upbeat guy that never seems to have a care in the world. He is also one of the team’s leaders and knows he needs to be in good spirits for his teammates, even if he is torn apart inside.
Bridgewater released a statement on Thursday before his team’s final preseason game saying he is going to come back stronger than ever. Just reading that statement and seeing how his quarterback was handling himself in the hospital really hit Munnerlyn hard.
“Teddy man, he was in great spirits,” Munnerlyn began. “We walked into the room and he was smiling like his normal self and was like, ‘Man, I’m good. My guys are here now.’ Just to see him smile and see him in great spirits put a smile on all our faces. Just like this kid loves football, he loves his teammates and he don’t let things get him down. We looked at him and we were like, ‘Man, ya’ll see how he was in a good spirit? That’s how it should be.’ I don’t know if I could have handled it like that, but he handled the show like a true pro and told us he’ll be back and better than ever. The statement that he put out today kind of brought tears to my eyes. Let everybody know he’s OK. He’s got faith and everything. I was like, ‘Wow, this kid’s going to be very special.’”
Bridgewater was eventually released from the hospital and one of the first things he did was visit his teammates at the team facility before the game. That visit meant a lot to every player in the locker room, but it likely meant the most to quarterback Shaun Hill.
Hill is the player who now has the responsibility of replacing Bridgewater as the starting quarterback, and he gave Hill his ringing endorsement during the visit, which meant a lot to him.
“It was really good to see him this morning,” Hill began. “I did see him for the first time and I had a chance to give him a hug and talk to him a little bit. It really helped me out to see him. I don’t know if it really helped him out to see me, but it really helped me out to see him. He’s such a great kid and a competitor. He’ll be a great player for a long time in this league.”
Even though Bridgewater is going to have to miss the entire 2016 season, and maybe even some of the 2017 season, it sounds as though he plans to remain around his team. Everyone was talking about how Bridgewater hopes to be at all the games, cheering his team on from the sidelines, and they cannot wait for that.
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They know he is going to be a great presence to have around and that he will be a guy who will continue to keep the team’s moral boosted.
“I’m sure he’s going to be out-of-control excited,” Boone said. “Getting everybody fired up, making sure everybody’s in the right spot. He’s a leader like that and that’s what’s so great about him. He’s young, but he can do things like that. It will be good to finally see him on the sideline.”