Earlier than follow, Bridgewater opened up about his lengthy restoration, reflecting on the day it occurred – Aug. 31, 2016 — and the way he has managed to persevere regardless of lengthy odds.
“It’s in my DNA,” he mentioned, alluding to his mom, Rose Murphy, who overcame breast most cancers.
The previous Minnesota Vikings starter has made a powerful impression on his new crew, together with coach Todd Bowles, who referred to as Bridgewater’s damage probably the most horrific in NFL historical past.
“All you can do is cringe. It’s probably one of the worst injuries I’ve seen since L.T.-Theismann in that Monday night game,” Bowles mentioned, referring to the 1985 sport wherein Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann suffered a damaged leg after being hit by the Giants’ Lawrence Taylor. “But he seems to be bouncing back well.”
Bridgewater, competing with incumbent Josh McCown and rookie Sam Darnold for the beginning job, has practiced absolutely the final 4 weeks. He is exhibiting no unwell results from the damage, which occurred in a non-contact follow drill and brought about in depth injury, together with a torn ACL and a dislocation.
Some thought his profession was over.
“It was scary, but at the end of the day, I was still breathing,” Bridgewater mentioned with a smile, refusing to take a “why me?” perspective.
Bridgewater recalled final Nov. 12, when he was overcome with emotion on the Vikings’ sideline through the nationwide anthem – his first sport in uniform because the damage.
“This game means so much to me,” he mentioned. “I have been enjoying soccer since I used to be 5 years previous. It introduced tears to my eyes as a result of it confirmed me you are by no means out of it, you are by no means out of the battle.
“There have been darkish days all through my rehab course of. If you’re rehabbing, the sunshine appears to date on the finish of the tunnel. To have the ability to see that gentle and make it to the sunshine — being energetic, standing on the sideline with my gear on — it form of hit me just a little.”
Bridgewater used a dream analogy to explain how he was capable of restart his profession.
“Normally, when you’ve gotten a dream and also you get up after which return to sleep, you do not choose up the identical dream,” he said. “For me, I used to be lucky sufficient to go sleep, get up, return to sleep and choose up my dream proper the place it left off.
“I’m just blessed to be in this position. Those were tears of joy.”
Bridgewater referred to as it a “gruesome” damage, however he expressed satisfaction in the best way he was capable of preserve his poise amid the panic and worry amongst teammates and coaches.
“I did not cry, I did not fear,” he said. “I simply knew it was in God’s arms. I used to be impressed with the best way I saved my poise.”
Bridgewater, who signed a one-year, $6 million contract after producing little curiosity in free company, declined to debate the state of his knee. Whereas he has impressed in non-contact practices, his comeback will not be full till he will get hit in a preseason sport.
The Jets will give him an opportunity to win the beginning job. He additionally might be commerce bait within the preseason. Bridgewater declined to look forward, saying he is targeted on minicamp. He mentioned he has a listing of small objectives.
“I’ve been checking them off the list,” he mentioned.