Vikings Would Be Wise to Shut Down Teddy Bridgewater This Week


Teddy Bridgewater thrilled Purple Nation with his excellent performance against the Atlanta Falcons this weekend, sending a shot of pure joy into the veins of Viking fans still suffering from PPD, Post Peterson Depression.

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The only damper came late in the game when Bridgewater injured his ankle scrambling and was forced to leave on a cart. Nervous Viking fans were relieved when it was later revealed that Bridgewater had not broken the ankle but “only” sprained it.

More good news came when an MRI revealed no significant damage, opening the door on Bridgewater being ready to take the field in time for Thursday night’s game against Green Bay.

But even before the MRI showed Bridgewater’s ankle was basically fine, some suggested it might be a good idea for the Vikes to err on the side of caution and shut Bridgewater down given the special factors involved in a short week.

The Vikings have given no indication that they mean to sit Bridgewater against the Packers, injury or no injury. This despite the fact that Bridgewater did not practice Monday and reportedly was unable to practice Tuesday.

The latest on Bridgewater says the hope is for Teddy to take the practice field Wednesday for the final walk through. My response to this is simple: why would you push Bridgewater to get on the field for a game against Green Bay that, in the long run, means almost nothing?

It’s possible the Vikings are absolutely planning to sit Bridgewater, and are just engaging in gamesmanship by making it seem they still mean for him to play against the Packers. Mike McCarthy has made comments indicating that he expects Bridgewater to play, but it’s possible McCarthy is just smokescreening from his side.

If the Vikings do plan to sit Bridgewater and play Christian Ponder instead, then I applaud them for their good judgment.

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  • Fans naturally will be disappointed if Teddy can’t play. They want to see Teddy Bridgewater, and with good reason. He was strong against Atlanta and, for the first time in awhile, Viking fans are legitimately optimistic about their team’s future.

    But that’s the whole point: Bridgewater represents the team’s future. Not just for the coming weeks but the coming years. Every decision regarding Bridgewater should be made with this long-term future in mind.

    If Bridgewater isn’t 100%, and I can’t imagine he is after he failed to practice two straight days, then it makes no sense to play him in Green Bay. Put Christian Ponder out there and let him try to beat the Packers.

    Fans will whine about having to see Ponder when all they want is more Teddy Teddy Teddy, but when have fans ever been sensible when it comes to decisions like this?

    Mike Zimmer has made it clear that he doesn’t listen to fans when making decisions about who plays and how much. He said as much when the move was made to start Matt Cassel Week 1 instead of Bridgewater.

    Rick Spielman too has always championed long-term thinking. After spending so many years touting his slow, patient approach, it would make no sense for Spielman to suddenly reverse course and put the future at risk for the sake of negligible short-term gain.

    Bridgewater, even gimpy, might give the Vikings the best chance to beat the Packers, but so what? The chance of him suffering an injury that might put him out longer than a week is too great. It’s just not worth it.

    Yes, it would be awesome to see Teddy Bridgewater go into Lambeau Field and beat the Packers. But you know what would be even more awesome? A Super Bowl.

    Beating the Packers in Lambeau is no great feat. The Vikings have done it in living memory, believe it or not. The potential satisfaction of beating the Packers with our rookie QB should not blind us to the ultimate goal of a championship.

    Rick Spielman should not allow himself to be blinded either. I know the Vikings want to wipe away the bad feelings associated with the Adrian Peterson mess, and I know Bridgewater’s emergence is the best tonic for all that sickness, but getting Teddy hurt would only create a new, much-bigger mess than anything left over from the Peterson debacle.

    I’m confident that Spielman and Zimmer will make the right decision here. I’m sure they will let themselves be guided by what’s best for Bridgewater and what’s best for the team long-term. Spielman won’t let his desire to placate a moody fanbase influence his decision-making.

    Much as fans will gripe if it happens, sitting Teddy Bridgewater would be the smart move. Christian Ponder can hold down the fort a little while longer. It won’t kill us to wait.