When a Vine video appeared last week that showed Teddy Bridgewater working on the strength and mobility in his injured knee, it gave some Minnesota Vikings fans hope that a strong recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, other ligament tears and a dislocated knee was in progress.
The truth remains that Bridgewater is continuing to work on his rehab from that Aug. 30 injury, but no one seems to have much of a timeline for his return – if at all. The Vikings and Bridgewater have declined numerous interview requests to talk about his progress, including Bridgewater declining a one-on-one interview when his teammates were packing up and leaving a day after the team’s regular-season finale. And the Vine video of his rehab being taken down hours after it appeared was further indication that Bridgewater wants to remain intensely private on the matter.
The Vikings still seem to have no real indication when – and if – Bridgewater will be ready to return to action, and it was one of the topics of conversation with Vikings coach Mike Zimmer when he appeared on ESPN’s “Face to Face” on Sunday morning.
“Everybody in the building loves Teddy Bridgewater. He’s the greatest kid in the world,” Zimmer said. “He comes into work every day with a smile on his face working hard on his rehab. It was a terrible injury.”
Zimmer declined to give details on the full extent of Bridgewater’s injury in the coach’s season wrap-up press conference nearly two weeks ago and he wasn’t asked for specifics during his appearance Sunday morning.
“He’s got an opportunity to come back. We don’t know when he will be back yet – if it will be at the beginning of the year, midway through the year or at the end of the year,” Zimmer said. “Really, for us, the most important thing is Teddy and Teddy’s health, that he comes back healthy, but he’ll be back. I would never bet against this guy. He’s a tremendous individual.”
Zimmer said earlier this month that Sam Bradford has “earned the right” to start in 2017 after the Vikings traded away a first-round draft pick this year and a conditional pick in 2018 to acquire him after Bridgewater’s injury. Bradford went on to set the single-season NFL record for completion percentage and the franchise record for completions in a season, among others.
When asked about Bradford’s situation – he is under contract through 2017 – Zimmer brought back Bridgewater’s status into the equation.
“I think when Teddy comes back, he’ll come back and he’ll compete. Sam had a great year for us and obviously we don’t know when Teddy will be back,” Zimmer said. “Sam was a guy that he went through a lot of adversity too, getting traded before the season, coming in having to learn a new offense, new coaches, new teammates and really played remarkable. His first game was against Green Bay in the (new) stadium, played great that day. We’re excited about it and we’re lucky to have the quarterback situation we have.”