Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bridgewater remains optimistic on the road to recovery

Photo: CBS Sports
Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was optimistic as he talked with the media for the first time since injuring his knee last August. It's helped the young quarterback appreciate the "little things" in life. 

Updated: July 27, 2017, 12:40 p.m.

By: Daniel House

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater addressed the media for the first time since injuring his knee 11 months ago. After being placed on the physically unable to perform list (PUP) Wednesday, Bridgewater continues to focus on rehab and learning certain aspects of his body again.

"Right now I'm focusing on my overall body from head to toe and that's what's most important,” Bridgewater said. “I’m still in the process of learning my body again. It’s been fun, you learn new things you don’t know before.”

He recalled suffering a torn ACL and dislocated knee injury on Aug. 31 of last year. He remembered his teammates huddling around him after suffering the non-contact injury.

"I just remember laying on the ground,” he said. “The biggest thing was the guys gathering around me and praying for me."

Bridgewater was non-committal about the timetable for his return, but noted he continues to make strides every day to get healthy. He said the doctors haven’t told him he won’t play again. In the meantime, Bridgewater contacted running backs Frank Gore and Willis McGahee for advice about recovering from a similar injury. At this point, Bridgewater explained he is just attacking the rehab in every phase.

"Right now I'm taking it one day at a time,” he said. “I can't look too far down the road. We all understand it’s going to take some time.”

However, Bridgewater has intentions to play football again and said this injury doesn’t change the future goals he has set for himself.

“No. If anything, I want more,” he said. "That first initial hit or contact will tell me I can do this. If I can do it one time, I can do it forever.”

The Vikings will continue moving forward with quarterback Sam Bradford, at least until Bridgewater is ready to return. Bridgewater noted the impressive 2016 season Bradford put together, despite the circumstances he faced.

"Sam is great,” he said. “He's all about football and that's what you want."

Looking back, Bridgewater said the injury has taught him to appreciate the little things like walking and putting on clothes.

“The injury has made me a better person. I’ve learned to appreciate the little things,” he said.

He also explained how much his family has supported him throughout the recovery. Bridgewater remembered learning how to fight from watching his mother battle breast cancer

“The best thing for me is that I’ve had experience with having to fight watching my mom battle breast cancer.” He added, “I come from amazing DNA. We’re fighters.”

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