Teddy Bridgewater was once pegged as one of the ascendant quarterbacks of his generation, ready to lead the Vikings back into the postseason. But Bridgewater suffered a gruesome injury to his left knee in August 2016, shredding his ACL, dislocating his knee, and putting his leg itself in danger. The 2016 season was out, and early projections indicated 2017 was probably cashed as well.
In Bridgewater’s absence, the Minnesota Vikings rode Sam Bradford and, later, Case Keenum all the way to an NFC North championship. And finally, in the waning minutes of a thorough dismantling of the Cincinnati Bengals, Bridgewater got the call to return to pro football action.
The scene immediately before Bridgewater entered the game was an emotional one on the Vikings sideline, with player after player—led by Keenum—stepped up to offer words of support and encouragement. Bridgewater’s very first pass was … well, it was an interception, and he finished the day 0-for-2. But look, this is still a pretty great story of resilience and determination.
Bridgewater is a free agent after the 2017 season, and he might well have an opportunity to compete for a starting job somewhere. But the fact that he’s competing anywhere is a victory in itself.