CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Teddy Bridgewater’s promising career almost ended in 2016 due to a horrendous knee injury, but today, he is in line to be the next starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers.
In his first 2 years in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings, Bridgewater threw for over 61 hundred yards and 28 touchdowns in 29 starts. But during off-season workouts in 2016, he dislocated his knee and completely tore his ACL.
“From the moment I was on the ground screaming in pain, I just told myself it’s a part of a race,” said Bridgewater. “Life is a race and we have to run our own race. Within that race, we have to focus on what is in our lane. It was a race I had to finish. I’m back in the race. It’s great to be back in it."
The last 2 years, Bridgewater has backed up Drew Brees down in New Orleans. Last season, Brees suffered a thumb injury in the second game of the season. Bridgewater took over and went 5-0 in Brees’ absence throwing for over 13 hundred yards with 9 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions.
Here in Carolina, he now follows an icon in Cam Newton who was released by the Panthers on Tuesday. But Bridgewater is not feeling the pressure of replacing Cam as he backed up a Super Bowl winner the last 2 years.
“When Drew got injured, I had big shoes to fill then,” said Bridgewater. “I just constantly reminded myself to ‘just be you.’ Be the best version of Teddy I could be. I know how to conduct myself. I’m not a young rookie starter anymore trying to tell grown men what to do. I understand what it take to be a quarterback in this league and I’m going to apply that to the rest of my career.”
Some fans feel like the Panthers are getting ready to rebuild and they may struggle next year. They even throw around the word “tanking.” Teddy didn’t come here to lose and his story of overcoming doesn’t allow him to help in a tank job. He doesn’t plan to waste this opportunity to be a starter again in the NFL.
“They told me I wouldn’t play football again. It would take 18 months to come back and I came back faster. They told me I wouldn’t win last year in New Orleans and we won 5 games. I just come in with that mindset to win. I take pride in winning.”