Life works in strange ways, and few NFL players likely know that more than Teddy Bridgewater.
Back in 2016, Bridgewater was coming off a Pro Bowl and a playoff appearance in his second season starting for the Minnesota Vikings and appeared to be one of the more promising young quarterbacks in the NFL.
And then Aug. 30 happened.
Bridgewater suffered a devastating, grotesque knee injury — on a non-contact play — in camp that day, and his life changed forever. There was immediate fear that Bridgewater might even require amputation for just how bad his leg was mangled.
But now? Bridgewater looks back on that day as a blessing.
August 30, 2016
While riding in back of that ambulance, I didn’t know what my football future had in store for me. In the midst of so much uncertainty and pain, I found peace and my purpose in life.
Dear August 30, 2016.....
— Teddy Bridgewater (@teddyb_h2o) August 30, 2020
His road to recovery was nothing short of remarkable, and the fact that Bridgewater was even able to see the field for the Vikings at the end of the 2017 season made it one of the great comeback stories of that — or any other — year.
After a trade from the New York Jets to the New Orleans Saints in 2018, Bridgewater’s career has been reborn. He started six games the past two seasons for the Saints, including a five-game starting span last season after which Drew Brees got hurt where they went 5-0 with Bridgewater at the helm.
A new chapter begins for Bridgewater
Now Bridgewater has become the face of the Carolina Panthers, having signed a three-year, $66 million contract that makes him the no-doubt starter there for new head coach Matt Rhule after the team let Cam Newton walk.
Bridgewater not only gets to face his former Saints team twice this season, but he also could meet up with his old Vikings teammates in Minnesota in Week 12.
And wouldn’t it be something if we somehow could see Bridgewater and Alex Smith — having gone through his own devastating leg trauma — on the field together when the Panthers face the Washington Football Team in Week 16? Smith’s comeback has been just as inspiring.
But with Bridgewater’s toughness and determination, it’s easy to see why he’s so thankful now. Funny how life works.
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