A few members of the Minnesota Vikings’ roster shared their thoughts on Monday regarding the quarterback’s expected activation later this week.
Before they take on the Washington Redskins next Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings are expected to add a player to their active roster sometime this week. But this is not just any normal player activation.
According to multiple reports, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is expected to be activated by the Vikings this week and possibly throw on a game uniform for the first time since the 2016 preseason. Bridgewater has been recovering from a brutal knee injury he suffered last year that initially left the future of his football career in question.
Thanks to these reports, Bridgewater’s return was a common topic of conversation inside Minnesota’s locker room on Monday when the team’s players spoke to the local media.
Fellow Vikings 2014 first-round draft pick Anthony Barr expressed his thoughts on the quarterback’s expected return to the active roster.
"“It’s just a testament to the guy he is. But I don’t think he’s changed at all. Personality wise, every day he was upbeat (with) a smile on his face and bringing positive energy to the locker room. So it’s good to see him back on the field, able to move around and doing things we know he is capable of doing. I’m sure he’s thrilled about it so it’s very happy for him.”"
As far as how Bridgewater has looked out on the field since returning to practice a few weeks ago, Barr has noticed some improvements in the quarterback’s ability to throw the ball.
"“He looks a little stronger. I think the ball is traveling a little faster, a little further.”"
Minnesota receiver Adam Thielen also agreed with Barr’s observation regarding the quarterback’s improved arm strength as well as what having a guy like Bridgewater back out on the field does for the team.
"“He’s a guy that busts his tail every single day. He’s a guy that wants to win and he loves the game of football. He’s a guy that you root for. He’s a guy that you want to play hard for. So it’s been fun to have him out there just because he’s really good at understanding what receivers like and what receivers don’t like.”"
When asked about Bridgewater’s expected activation later this week, Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon was not shy about how impressive the quarterback’s journey back to the field has been since injuring his knee last year.
"“He’s looked good, throwing the ball and everything. That’s a guy whose been through so much adversity and overcame a lot just to get back to this point, to be able to practice. I think everybody’s glad to have him back (and) see him back out there doing things effortlessly. You know, just being Teddy. Everybody’s happy to have him back.”"
Bridgewater may be getting activated this week, but some are still wary about the quarterback playing in an actual game. However, McKinnon thinks Bridgewater is plenty prepared to get back out on the field.
"“He looks ready to me.”"
Whether he ends up starting this week in Washington or during another game, Bridgewater’s teammates are very happy to have him back and helping them this season.
At times, people can get lost in the physical attributes of a player and fail to realize the tremendous emotional impact that he can have on a team. Whenever Bridgewater does step back onto the playing field again for the first time, good luck trying to find a person seated on Minnesota’s sideline.
Because there won’t be.