General NewsInjuries

Eric Sugarman: “We Expect Teddy to Make a Full Recovery”

Time seemed to slow down when Teddy Bridgewater crumpled to the ground this afternoon. The Minnesota Vikings watched and waited as their quarterback was taken from Winter Park and rushed to Hennepin County Medical Center.

Nearly two hours after the incident, head coach Mike Zimmer took to the podium, labeling his Bridgewater’s injury as “significant” and casting doubt on his playing prospects this season. Although Zimmer couldn’t elaborate on the extent of the injury at the time, we now know exactly what happened when Bridgewater fell to the turf.

Vikings Director of Sports Medicine and Head Athletic Trainer Eric Sugarman released a statement this evening, explaining in detail the extent of Bridgewater’s injury:

[quote_box_center]Teddy Bridgewater suffered a non-contact injury today at practice. The injury was quickly identified as a dislocated knee. The injury was stabilized, and he was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment and evaluation. After undergoing an MRI, it was determined that Teddy suffered a complete tear to his ACL and other structural damage. Fortunately, there appears to be no nerve or arterial damage. Surgical repair will be scheduled within the next few days. Although the recovery time will be significant, we expect Teddy to make a full recovery. I would like to thank all of the medical professionals and our athletic training staff for all of their help today. Teddy has already displayed the attitude needed to overcome this injury and attack his rehab.[/quote_box_center]

Tonight’s news should elicit a sigh of relief from Vikings fans. Initial reports painted a picture of pure horror, with first-hand accounts of players vomiting on the field, cursing, and throwing their helmets. The fear, given details emerging from Winter Park, was that Bridgewater had suffered an injury similar to that of Marcus Lattimore.

Late in the 2012 college season, Lattimore played the last game of his ‘professional’ football career. He tore three ligaments in his right knee and dislocated his kneecap — an injury that prompted his teammates and opponents to gather around Lattimore in prayer. The San Francisco 49ers took a chance on Lattimore in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, but the former South Carolina running back never recovered and was forced to retire in 2014.

Bridgewater’s injury, while similar in nature, isn’t expected to end his career. A 2010 study from the Journal of Musculoskeletal Research notes that anterior dislocations (ACL tear) are most common, making up 40 percent of all knee dislocations. The study also found that low-velocity trauma, such as sports injury, contributes to less than 30 percent of cases of knee dislocation.

This designation, which Sugarman labeled ‘non-contact’ in the context of Bridgewater’s injury, has a better prognosis than dislocations suffered in high-impact incidents such as car crashes. Low-velocity dislocations result in fewer vascular (blood vessel) injuries, lesser meniscal (meniscus) damage, and fewer osteochondral (articular cartilage) fractures.

Fortunately, Bridgewater’s injuries did not include damage to the nerves or blood vessels in his knee. Jene Bramel, a pediatrician and high school football team physician, speculated that “other structural damage” could include tears to Bridgewater’s PCL, LCL or MCL ligaments. A simple ACL tear — the same injury Adrian Peterson returned from in 2012 — usually requires 8-9 months of recovery.

If Bridgewater did in fact tear multiple ligaments, he’s looking at nine or more months in Sugarman’s training room. Sugarman himself said the recovery time would be “significant,” but the team’s quick response to stabilize the knee and Bridgewater’s positive attitude moving forward give hope that Teddy will play again for the Vikings — just not in 2016.

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Austin Belisle

Austin Belisle is the West Coast's biggest Vikings fan, a football diehard cheering on the purple and yellow from sunny California. After graduating from San Jose State University in 2014, he began working full-time in corporate marketing and blogging on various sports websites. Austin's passion for the Vikings led him to Vikings Territory, where he hopes to share his lifelong enthusiasm for the team with readers on a daily basis. You can follow him on Twitter @austincbelisle

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  1. Good luck Bridgewater. Hope you regain your health and don’t have life long issues due to this freak accident

  2. Norv should dig deep and find that stone tablet playbook handed down from Jeff on High to Bronco Nagurski with the ten original plays on it. 4 Tight Ends every down. The only unknown, can Shaun Hill execute a jump pass.

  3. trade for Glennon, even if it costs us a 3rd rounder and 6th/7th rounder. We are gong to need someone not only for 2016 but looks like possibly beyond. Even if he makes full recovery physically he will not see the field until training camp next at best and then will take him time to relearn everything. This is bad. real bad. if the start the season 1-5, then try to trade AP.

    1. I like most of what you said. I don’t think we should give quite that much for Glennon though. This injury to bridgewater also unfortunately puts us back into the quarterback market in the draft.

      We need to take an early round qb (1-3rd round) again in case teddy doesn’t recover. We have too much talent to waste hoping he can come back from a gruesome injury without a plan b(that we could trade away if he does recover).

  4. Well looking at the bright side (the very slim bright side), we can grab a young qb with potential and see what he’s got. The two that stick out to me are Glennon and Foles. Mettenberger would also be interesting and fit Norv Turners system quite well. Who knows one of them (or Heineke) could step up and become a legit starter.

    Still, prayers with Teddy and his family.

  5. Prayers go out to you Teddy for your surgery and recovery. Get well my friend!! SKOL!!!!!!