Teddy Bridgewater Discusses Knee Injury, Mike Zimmer Comments on Return

Mike ChiariFeatured Columnist

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 18:  Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the Minnesota Vikings warms up prior to the preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on August 18, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

For the first time since a significant knee injury knocked him out for the entire 2016 season, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater commented on his situation on Dec. 29.

According to Mark Craig of the Star Tribune, Bridgewater issued the following statement after being named the team's 2016 Ed Block Courage Award winner:

It's an honor to win this award. Especially as my teammates made the selection. 2016 has been amazing for me. Everyone looks at an injury as a negative. It has helped me spiritually and mentally even with me already being an extremely positive person.

My injury was a new challenge and I love challenges. With the help of many people we have attacked this challenge head on and expect great success in the future. A special thanks to the Vikings training staff and all those that support me along my journey.

Bridgewater's injury occurred less than two weeks prior to the start of the regular season, and it prompted the Vikes to part with a first-round pick to acquire Sam Bradford from the Philadelphia Eagles.

It is unclear when Bridgewater will return to action and if he will miss additional time in 2017. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter (h/t Will Brinson of CBSSports.com) in October, an anonymous former NFL doctor expressed concern about Bridgewater returning to form or even playing again due to the severity of the injury.

“We don’t know when Teddy will be back,” head coach Mike Zimmer said on Sunday during an appearance on ESPN, according to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio.

Minnesota has insurance for at least one more season since Bradford is under contract for 2017, but the situation is less than ideal due to the fact the team had hoped Bridgewater was developing into a franchise quarterback prior to landing on injured reserve.

Bridgewater accounted for 17 touchdowns and led Minnesota to an 11-5 record in 2015, and he was also named to his first Pro Bowl.

The 24-year-old has plenty to overcome before he can get back to building upon those accomplishments, but his mindset appears to be positive, which should provide Vikings fans with at least some hope moving forward.

     

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.