When the 2017 season ended for the Minnesota Vikings, a lot of people (hint: me) thought that the solution to the Vikings quarterback conundrum was already on the roster. Vikings fandom was split between handing the reigns over to one of Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater (hint: STILL ME GUYS), or Sam Bradford.
Most people dismissed Bradford as an option becuase of his knee issues. Most people who thought Bridgewater was the long term answer thought his knee issues were mostly behind him (hint: STILL HERE FOLKS), considering he had made it back to the active roster and had seen some live game action.
That’s apparently not the case, as Mike Zimmer revealed down at the Owner’s Meeting down in Orlando a short while ago. It turns out there was a schism* between Zimmer and the medical staff regarding the progress of Bridgewater, and whether or not he’ll play at a high level again.
*I doubt there’s a schism. I just like using that word to describe every disagreement associated with the Vikings because LOL Brett Favre signing in 2009
Essentially, Mike Zimmer seemed more positive about Teddy Bridgewater returning to his pre-injury level than the medical staff of the Minnesota Vikings, apparently.
Zimmer on Teddy: "I thought he looked good in practice and moved around well but the reports I got back weren't as positive. There was more recovery to be done." #vikings— Brian Murphy (@murphPPress) March 27, 2018
ESPN reporter Courtney Cronin had a bit more of an expanded quote:
“The reports I’d get back from the medical people weren’t as positive as I was about it,” Zimmer said. “That’s kind of how it came down is that his knee wasn’t as...he still has some recovery to do. When I watched him in practice he moved well, I didn’t see limitations but from what I told there was some.”
Zimmer also revealed that Head Trainer Eric Sugarman had done an extensive report on 24 players with the type of injury Bridgewater suffered, and 12 of them never came back and played again. Still, Zimmer was quick to praise Bridgewater’s attempted comeback. Again, from the Cronin piece:
“For him to come back from the injury that he had was significant,” Zimmer said. “Really, it was remarkable. No one in the history of the world has ever come back from the injury that he had in that amount of time.”
The disagreement between Zimmer and the medical staff on the health of Bridgewater’s knee wasn’t known, at least as far as I can tell, until Zimmer mentioned it today. And without being there and getting the full context of the quote, Zimmer seems like he was willing to roll the dice with Teddy Bridgewater, but was overruled by either the medical staff, the front office, or both. But just so we’re clear, that’s 100% my opinion, nothing more.
And let’s make sure were all on the same page here. The Vikings didn’t play a still-injured Bridgewater last year:
Let's clarify this, shall we? Bridgewater was medically cleared to play by the Vikings medical staff. Being medically cleared and having limitations are two vastly different things. If he wasn't healthy enough to be out there, they wouldn't have put him out there. https://t.co/Nhryd6BFPK— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) March 27, 2018
The main concern is that Bridgewater won’t get back the level of mobility he had prior to suffering the knee injury. That concern by the Vikings seemed to be validated based on the heavily incentive-laden contract he got from the New York Jets, along with Bridgewater’s reluctance to talk about his knee when introduced to the New York media:
Teddy Bridgewater spoke to NY media today:— Brian Murphy (@murphPPress) March 21, 2018
On off-season workouts with Jets:
"That's not something I'm comfortable talking about right now. I'm pretty sure that will be a discussion I have with the training staff and we'll come up with a plan moving forward."#Vikings
As more clarity is given to the situation of all three quarterbacks at the end of the season, the reasoning for not bringing any of them back and going all-in for Kirk Cousins makes more sense.
Time will tell if getting Cousins was the right call, but right now, today?
It’s not the wrong one.