With the declining of his fifth-year option and some misinformation having been floated out there about the state of his knee injury, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been a topic of conversation among fans of the Minnesota Vikings over the past couple of weeks. While we still don’t know exactly what Bridgewater’s status is, he just got a pretty significant endorsement from the man in charge of the Minnesota sideline.
On Friday, at the team’s rookie mini-camp at Winter Park, head coach Mike Zimmer declared that he was “more optimistic than ever” about the potential return of #5 to the Vikings’ huddle.
For some reason, the audio in the clip is a little harder to hear, so here’s what Zimmer said per Ben Goessling’s recap of the story.
"I love Teddy Bridgewater," Zimmer said. "The guy is working his rear end off. He continues to fight every single day. Everything about him when he's rehabbing and doing the work he has to do is the exact same way he approaches life. I'm excited. I'm probably more optimistic now about him actually playing than I have been at any point in time. But he's still got a long ways to go."
I have to say that I do love Zimmer’s enthusiasm and optimism concerning Bridgewater’s recovery. But, as I’ve said in previous stories about this, I’d be surprised if we saw Bridgewater before Week 7 of the 2017 season. Given the opportunity to have him under team control for another year after declining that fifth-year option seems like a Spielman-like move to me. Also, if the team still feels that Bridgewater is a viable option going forward, there is absolutely no reason for the team to rush him out there before he’s absolutely, positively, 100% ready to take to the field again.
Still, nobody is closer to Bridgewater’s recovery process than Mike Zimmer is, and if he sees reason for optimism, then I’m damn sure going to be optimistic about it, too.