How To Help Minnesota Viking Fans Cope With The Teddy Bridgewater Injury
It was the final practice session of the preseason. It was a non-contact drill. And just like that, the Minnesota Vikings went from Super Bowl contenders to also-rans. With Teddy Bridgewater out for the year with a torn ACL, many believe the Vikings chances of a playoff run and a repeat NFC North title are over. But are they?
First, let's list the positives. The Vikings won the NFC North last year. How did they do it? With a great defense, running the ball and solid, not spectacular play at the quarterback position. Teddy Bridgewater didn't light the NFL on fire last year, but he was expected to make big strides this year and had looked good in preseason action. But the defense is still great, and they still have Adrian Peterson at running back. Those two things will keep Minnesota in every game this season.
Backup quarterback Shaun Hill has been in the league 15 years. Sure, he hasn't ever been asked to carry a team, but he's accurate and doesn't turn the ball over a lot. The Vikings aren't going to ask him to go out and win games. He'll be a game manager and he's proven he can do that. Will Minnesota make a move and go get another QB? It's almost guaranteed they will. But who? I'd wait until other teams make their final roster cuts. Denver might part ways with Mark Sanchez. Will Cleveland entertain offers for Josh McCown? Either way, it appears Hill will get the chance to start.
OK, now for the hard part for Vikings fans. Reality. Can Shaun Hill stay healthy all year? History says no. Can Adrian Peterson still rack up the yards as a 31 year old running back? History says it will be tough. Curtis Martin was 31 when he won the rushing title in 2004, making him the oldest back in history to accomplish the feat. Can Peterson break that mark? The Vikings main competition in the division is the Green Bay Packers. Even with that great defense, could they keep up in a shootout with Aaron Rodgers and company?
It was supposed to be a 'Super' year for the Vikings. Bridgewater's injury puts a damper on that, but Minnesota still has plenty to cheer for. Oh, and enjoy that new stadium!