EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) – Teddy Bridgewater returned to practice on Wednesday, more than a year after the catastrophic knee injury that put his career in jeopardy.
On Thursday, he returned to the podium, speaking to reporters for the first time since the start of training camp.
When Bridgewater ran back onto the practice field Wednesday for the first time in nearly 14 months…
“Man, I’ve been thinking about that moment, every day. I’m one step closer. Being out there, running out of that tunnel yesterday, it just did something to me, in a good way,” Bridgewater said.
Bridgewater said he didn’t feel rusty, just comfortable. And that he trusts his reconstructed left leg completely.
“I’m very confident. I wouldn’t go back on that practice field if I wasn’t,” Bridgewater said.
Bridgewater said he actually could’ve started practicing a couple of weeks ago, if he’d been eligible to do so. But as far as what he needs to show himself and the coaching staff these next three weeks, to get back on the active roster?
“That’s just something I’m going to have to see how I feel, going forward. It could be just completing a pass down the field, or making a sudden movement in the pocket. Just going to look for little things,” Bridgewater said. “I just have to continue to trust the process. They’ve come up with a great plan for me over these next couple weeks, and I’m going to continue to trust it. Each day, each rep that I take, I’m gonna give it my all, and try to maximize my opportunities.”
Bridgewater can practice for 21 days before the Vikings must make a decision whether to put him back on the roster, or injured reserve. He said he believes he can play this year, but now he needs to show it.
“I definitely believe I’ll play this year. But I can’t just sit here and say it. I have to continue to put the work in, on the field, on the practice field, and show the training staff, the higher authority, that eventually I can get back to the player who I was,” Bridgewater said.
Case Keenum, who is 3-2 as a starter in relief of Sam Bradford, will likely get the start this week as the Vikings host the Ravens. Minnesota then travels to London to face the Cleveland browns before their Week 9 bye.