Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson won’t let an injury to his starting quarterback dampen his Super Bowl aspirations.
The Pro Bowl running back has talked several times this offseason about his hopes to reach the Super Bowl with high expectations in Minnesota, but a season-ending knee injury for Teddy Bridgewater on Tuesday clearly rocked the players when it happened.
“Whew! It was just kind of like disbelief, just seeing it happen,” Peterson said after Thursday’s game, two days after the injury. “Teddy is such a good person and to see the stuff that he has made from his first year to last year and being able to see how he became a smarter player, stronger … initially it was disgust more so because of the type of guy he is.”
While Peterson may have found “disgust” at witnessing Bridgewater’s dislocated knee, which resulted in a torn anterior cruciate ligament and other structural damage, Peterson has gone through the process of rehabilitating a knee injury himself.
Peterson tore his ACL in December 2011 and returned to lead the NFL in rushing with 2,096 yards in 2012. The resolve that Peterson showed and his first-hand experience in rehabilitation is being passed along to Bridgewater.
“I told him the first thing is to get the mindset,” Peterson said. “… That was the biggest thing.”
Peterson said Bridgewater was upbeat and joking around in the hospital when he and other teammates visited. But for the rest of them, the task of moving on without their starting quarterback has begun.
“We still have the opportunity. It’s very unfortunate (with losing) a quarterback, but it takes a team to win a championship,” Peterson said. “Guys have to step up and we’re still chasing the same thing.
“I feel like Shaun (Hill) is going to do a great job. I have confidence in him. He’s shown what he was able to do in the past. I feel like we’ll still be able to be a balanced offense and we’ll go from there.”
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Peterson said the loss of Bridgewater doesn’t put more pressure on the running back. Everyone will continue to do what they do, and they are happy to see Bridgewater in about as good of spirits as he could be.
“It feels good to see his face and see him smiling and the look in his eyes,” Peterson said. “His mind is in the right place after such an injury.”
Roster cuts start
NFL teams are required to trim their rosters from 75 players to 53 before the 3 p.m. Central deadline on Saturday.