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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Bridgewater’s return offers memorable moment during blowout

By Matthew Coller

When Case Keenum tossed a touchdown to put the Minnesota Vikings up 34-0 over the Cincinnati Bengals, the crowd at US Bank Stadium could feel it coming.

Chants of, “Teddy, Teddy,” started to swell.

Then when Teddy Bridgewater walked out on the field for the first time in 714 days, the 65,000-plus stood up and cheered so loudly that Bridgewater had to cover his ear holes to hear the playcall coming in from Pat Shurmur.

Bridgewater spent 14 months recovering from a knee injury so severe that trainer Eric Sugarman feared the young quarterback would lose his leg. He was mostly in Eden Praire for the recovery, taking baby steps from his first throw during offseason activities – which was well documented by the team – to being cleared to practice to finally being activated.

The strong play of Case Keenum kept Bridgewater on the sideline during games against Washington, Detroit, Atlanta and Carolina. Head coach Mike Zimmer was looking for the right spot to give him some real-game action.

There couldn’t have been a better time than in the fourth quarter of a smack down. It allowed for a no-pressure situation for Bridgewater to shake off rust and nerves that would go along with so much time away.

On his first drive, Bridgewater flipped a pass too high for his checkdown option and it was intercepted by the Bengals. As he came off the field, Bridgewater still had a smile on his face while shaking his head.

Bridgewater’s appearance means more than just a nice moment for the franchise’s most popular player. It also gave him an opportunity to prepare for a scenario where he might have to take over under center.

Case Keenum was terrific against the Bengals, ending any murmur that might still exist of him being pulled from the starting job, but if Keenum gets injured down the stretch or in the postseason, Bridgewater’s brief appearance might pay dividends.

There’s a chance we could see more of Bridgewater in Week 17 if the Vikings’ playoff position won’t be impacted. It won’t be until then that the Vikings will be able to evaluate where he stands.

Sunday was just a chance to dust him off – and give fans something to remember in an otherwise forgettable game.

The post Bridgewater’s return offers memorable moment during blowout appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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