A touching video surfaced on the Internet Sunday afternoon. Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater returned to the sideline as an active NFL player for the first time since his ACL tear before the 2016 NFL season even started. Cameras caught the 25-year-old crying on the sideline before Minnesota was set to kick off against the Washington Redskins.
“Man, I was trying to keep it together,” Bridgewater said after the Vikings 38-30 win over Washington. “It’s just, opportunities like these don’t come around twice. So when you get that second opportunity, you cherish it, and you hold it, and you never want to let it go. Today it got the best of me.”
Bridgewater didn’t touch the field on Sunday, and Case Keenum certainly didn’t make head coach Mike Zimmer’s decision easier with his performance on Sunday. Keenum completed 21 of 29 attempts for 304 yards and a career-high four touchdowns.
Zimmer said he knew which quarterback would be under center next week when the 7-2 Vikings take on the 7-2 Los Angeles Rams. But since he hasn’t told his team yet, Zimmer won’t make his decision public until Wednesday.
One would have to assume Keenum is the likely bet to get the start, quite frankly because he hasn’t given Zimmer a reason to be benched. He’s 5-2 for the Vikings this season and is fairly familiar with the Rams, having been a part of that team for the last two seasons. No matter what the decision is, Keenum was unreserved in his praise for Bridgewater.
“He’s a fan favorite; he’s my favorite, too. I may have a Teddy Bridgewater jersey at home. He’s a great dude and a great teammate,” Keenum said. “I told somebody on the field that Teddy definitely raises the cool factor of the quarterback group tremendously. . . . Great teammate, and like I said, I’m a big fan of Teddy Bridgewater.”
Keenum has to know his days are numbered as the Vikings’ starter. Bridgewater is a promising young quarterback. In his short time in the NFL he has won the Rookie of the Year award and been to a Pro Bowl.
Bridgewater is Minnesota’s quarterback of the future, there’s no argument about that. But no one knows how Bridgewater will play in his return, and right now the Vikings have a quarterback in Keenum that’s playing well enough to have his team sitting atop the NFC North.
Minnesota, there’s no reason to rush your quarterback of the future back right now.
Connor Donahue is the digital editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @conn_donahue.