Bridgewater is a tremendous kid and clearly incredibly beloved by his coaches and teammates. He has quickly assumed a leadership role and he continued to make some great strides last season. But I don’t know that this is the immediate death blow to their season that some are making it out to be. I just don’t.
Quick caveat — I wasn’t high on them as a Super Bowl contender even with Bridgewater and I thought they’d be about the same team they were a year ago. So maybe I’m the wrong guy to be framing this. But they won the division last year and nearly won a playoff game with the starting quarterback tossing 14 touchdowns to nine interceptions the entire season.
That, obviously, ain’t much, folks.
And I don’t think it’s crazy to think that Shaun Hill — now the starter there — could duplicate that or perhaps improve the TD totals. Now, can Hill out-produce whatever Bridgewater would have done for the 2016 Vikings? We’ll never know as he prepares for season-ending surgery.
And, yes, Teddy got better as the season went on and he had some great moments in the playoffs and this preseason. But he wasn’t a guy who was showing an ability to transcend circumstances and lift guys up and make plays deep downfield with regularity and he was still growing into the position.
It’s definitely a setback and I feel awful this kid won’t get a chance to keep growing this season and doing what he loves. Minnesota definitely needs to add another veteran if it can.
But I just don’t think they are now like some four-win team or something. They can run the ball and play some defense.
There are some retreads who know this system who could become available in way or another (Christian Ponder and Brandon Weeden come to mind, although I wouldn’t go dipping back in that pool, myself). Someone like Josh Johnson could be an interesting fit if he doesn’t make Baltimore’s roster.
There will be guys getting released and waived all over the place. And while none of them will have the personality and potential that Bridgewater brings, some of them just may be able to put up similar numbers to his from a year ago.
Source: CBS Sports / The loss of Teddy Bridgewater hurts, but the Vikings’ season is far from lost