It took Teddy Bridgewater three months to return every text message he received following his severe knee injury. In total, it was about 800 messages. He wanted to use the people who believed he would be back on the field one day as motivation.
“I never had any doubt,” Bridgewater said, speaking with the media for the first time since being activated. “That’s a credit to people around me. They never once let me get down, never counted me out. Getting back out there, this is not only about me, it’s about the people who counted me in.”
The Vikings will start Case Keenum this week as Bridgewater continues to practice. Bridgewater did not give any indication about when the team could name him the starter. In his first practice since being lifted from the Physically Unable to Perform list, Bridgewater was listed as a full participant. He was asked whether there will be worries about getting back on the field with his surgically-repaired knee.
“No concerns at all,” he said. “Out training staff, our strength and conditioning staff, they’ve done a great job of preparing me to get to this point. Once I get out there, it’s no regrets, no holding back, whatever’s meant to happen happens. I trust God’s plan for me.”
“The hard part is out of the way,” Bridgewater added. “I’m still going to make improvements and get better health wise and be the best teammate I can be. I can’t wait to get out there Sunday with the guys and get that feeling of coming out of the locker room, preparing for a game, preparing to play, things like that.”
Bridgewater will join a new offense from the last time he was under center, but he should have a strong understanding of Pat Shurmur’s system. He has been in team meetings and going through practices using virtual reality over the past few months.
“It’s just two different systems,” Bridgewater said. “The thing is, this offense allows guys to make plays. Our previous offense, I think, was more downfield offense. This offense is a mix of both. I’m excited to be a a part of it.”