Teddy Bridgewaterâs dream of returning to the NFL field is very much within reach. Itâs so close, no rational person could fault him for feeling frustrated as heâs been cleared by the Vikings medical staff to play, but will remain a backup Sunday against the Rams.
But Bridgewaterâs personality and signature smile donât crack easily. So he says heâs going to âtrust the processâ as the NFC North-leading Vikings continue with Case Keenum at quarterback, at least for one more week.
âFor me, I feel like Iâm out there taking mental reps, sharpening my game from a mental standpoint,â Bridgewater told Twin Cities reporters on Thursday. âWeâre playing good football on offense, good football on defense, all three phases. For me, itâs about continuing to be patient and trust the process. And stand behind whoever is in there.â
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer waited until Wednesday to name Keenum his starter for Sunday. With a quick turnaround next week in Detroit on Thanksgiving, Bridgewater could be waiting a couple games for his next opportunity. The Vikings scored a season-high 38 points in Keenumâs fifth straight win last week in Washington.
Zimmerâs decision to stick with Keenum has been supported by the locker room both publicly and privately. Defensive end Everson Griffen, one of six team captains, shared a sentiment that a handful of players have also expressed behind the scenes: âIf it ainât broke, donât fix it.â
Bridgewater, who still holds the potential of the Vikings franchise quarterback, deflected the attention when asked if he knows when heâll play.
âWho knows?â Bridgewater said. âI donât want this to be about me. Itâs about us. Weâre sitting in a good position right now, pushing for the playoffs. Hopefully homefield advantage or something like that. You canât take the attention away from that.â
He continues in a backup role, one play or decision away from his awaited return to the Vikings huddle.
âUsually when you have a dream, you wake up and you go back to sleep, you canât pick up where that dream left off â itâs hard sometimes,â Bridgewater said. âIâm fortunate to have the opportunity to pick up right where my dream left off.â