A mother’s comforting words; a friend’s unexpected call; the reassurance that everything is going to be okay.
For Sam Bradford, such a moment came on the sidelines, captured quietly by ESPN’s Monday Night Football cameras. He sat exasperated on Minnesota’s bench, looking beaten down in the midst of his long-awaited return to the Vikings huddle.
Three weeks of rest weren’t enough to rejuvenate the quarterback’s chronic, bruised knee. From the moment he took the field, Bradford looked like a shell of himself; misfiring on normally automatic throws, grimacing in the huddle, and pulling himself off the turf more slowly with each subsequent sack.