Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater met with the media on Thursday for the first time since suffering the knee injury that kept him from playing at all last season and said that he thought spending the last year rehabbing has made him a better person.
Bridgewater said that the injury made him more “appreciative” of the things he has in life because he’s seen how quickly things you love can be taken away. Bridgewater said he’s “learning my body all over again” now that he’s been able to get on the field to take snaps and make throws, something he called a “constant grind” that he makes it through by drawing inspiration from his mother’s battle with breast cancer.
“You have days when you don’t see the progress, but it’s a long process,” Bridgewater said. “I’m in it for the long haul. I want to be the best version of Teddy I can be.”
Bridgewater said that the injury hasn’t changed his goals as a football player and that he hasn’t had any doctors tell him that he won’t be able to resume playing again. He doesn’t know when that will be, but said it will be a significant milestone when he’s ready to face a live defense again.
“That first initial hit or contact will tell me I can do this,” Bridgewater said. “If I can do it one time, I can do it forever.”
The uncertain time line explains why Bridgewater said he isn’t spending time worrying about the fact that the Vikings didn’t exercise their option on his contract for the 2018 season as there’s not much point thinking about contracts until he’s all the way back into action. The biggest message Bridgewater sent on Thursday is that he has little doubt that day will come.