Teddy Bridgewater: Injury ‘helped me spiritually and mentally’

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater missed the entire 2016 NFL season with a devastating injury that threatened to end his career. Yet despite the traumatic, visceral event that caused Vikings players to scream obscenities and cry like babies, the young quarterback is taking nothing but positives away from his harrowing experience.

After Bridgewater was awarded the team’s Ed Block Courage Award, the Vikings sent out a statement in which Bridgewater comments on his injury, saying it actually helped him as a person.

“It’s an honor to win this award,” Bridgewater said, via Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “Especially as my teammates made the selection. 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.”

This kind of outlook is quite remarkable. We’ve heard players promise to come back stronger than ever before after season-ending injuries many times before. But rarely have we seen this type of approach, where a player is giving thanks essentially for the injury as a life-improving event.

It’s not yet known if Bridgewater will be able to return next season. The injury he suffered was particularly gruesome and devastating, as he dislocated his knee and tore several ligaments. The Vikings have time to take is slow with Bridgewater, with Sam Bradford under contract for the 2017 season.