With Teddy Bridgewater declining interviews throughout the season, only select people really know how well he is doing in his rehabilitation from a dislocated knee with multiple ligament tears.
When a video surfaced on the Internet in January with Bridgewater doing rehabilitative drills, it was quickly deleted, further proof of just how guarded the Minnesota Vikings and the Bridgewater camp has been in keep his recovery and timetable behind closed doors.
But about six months after Bridgewater went down with his serious knee injury during a non-contact portion of a practice at Winter Park on Aug. 30, receiver Charles Johnson, who has talked with Bridgewater, believes the recovery process continues to progress forward.
“I talked to Teddy a couple times. You never know. He says he’s coming along well. From what I hear, he’s just grinding, taking it one day at a time, trying to get back to where he wants to be,” Johnson said during an appearance at Vikings Winterfest. “I think he’ll be alright. He’s a very strong person. He’s very faith-related and he understands the grind in where he wants to be in life. I think he’ll be alright. I think he’ll be straight. I don’t exactly know timeline or anything because that’s his body.”
The Vikings haven’t made Bridgewater available for interviews since the injury and the team has repeatedly declined to give specifics when asked about it, other than to characterize it as a very serious injury. The lack of information often leads to conjecture that Bridgewater may not be ready for the start of the 2017 regular season, but whenever a team official does comment on the situation the sentiment is that no one really knows when, and if, Bridgewater will be able to return to the NFL.
Throughout the process, however, Bridgewater has maintained a publicly positive attitude.
“You’ve got to have a positive attitude. I went through ACL surgery a few years back and it’s probably the worst thing I ever went through,” Johnson said when asked about Bridgewater’s positive approach. “The rehab is crazy. It hurts. It’s terrible, but the one thing I really appreciated about it was each day you could see yourself growing and getting a little bit better, gaining a little more strength, having a little more range of flexibility in your knee and everything.
“That’s the one thing I really appreciated about it – each day, each week you could just see yourself getting better and it kind of gives you that confidence like, hey, I’m going to be alright. I think he’s doing that. I’ve seen him running and doing all type of drills and things like that. He’ll be straight.”
With Bridgewater tearing multiple ligaments, however, when and if he is “straight” in heading back to the practice field is still one of the questions of the offseason. But the Vikings at least made it clear when they acquired Sam Bradford in a trade four days after Bridgewater’s injury that having two years left on Bradford’s contract was an important piece to making that trade.
Johnson believes the Vikings are in a good situation with Bradford healthy and Bridgewater working on his recovery.
“Sam, he’s a great quarterback. He came in, he showed what he can do. He completed passes like it was nothing. Everybody knew that,” Johnson said. “He wasn’t the No. 1 pick for no reason. He’s a very good quarterback. His arm is tremendous, he can make every throw. We’re happy to have him on our team.
“Once Teddy comes back, Teddy is our guy. Teddy has been here since I’ve been here. He’s also a very talented quarterback so it’s going to be very interesting to see what happens. He can make throws, he’s mobile, he’s smart, he wants to be good. At least we have two quarterbacks that are pretty good. I guess you can’t be wrong about that. I appreciate playing with both those guys. We’ll see what happens.”