Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said the devastating knee injury that threatens his availability for the start of the 2017 season actually has helped him "spiritually and mentally" and that he considers it "a new challenge, and I love challenges."

Bridgewater made those statements in a release issued by the team after teammates selected Bridgewater as the Vikings' 2016 Ed Block Courage Award winner.

"It's an honor to win this award, especially as my teammates made the selection," Bridgewater said in the release. "2016 has been amazing for me. Everyone looks at an injury as a negative. It has helped me spiritually and mentally even with me already being an extremely positive person.

"My injury was a new challenge, and I love challenges. With the help of many people we have attacked this challenge head on and expect great success in the future. A special thanks to the Vikings training staff and all those that support me along my journey."

Since 1984, the Ed Block Courage Award has honored one player from every NFL team who exemplifies commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. Recipients are recognized for extra efforts both on and off the field and their ability to overcome great adversity, whether it be personal or professional.

Bridgewater's season-ending injury, which came during a noncontact practice drill, occurred 12 days before the season opener.