NFL: Vikes' Bridgewater hopes to play and reverse the Lambeau leak
MINNEAPOLIS-- Teddy Bridgewater grew up following Brett Favre when he starred for the Packers. On Tuesday, he learned something about Favre's time with the Vikings.
MINNEAPOLIS- Teddy Bridgewater grew up following Brett Favre when he starred for the Packers. On Tuesday, he learned something about Favre’s time with the Vikings.
Favre was the last Minnesota quarterback to lead the Vikings to victory in Green Bay, a 38-26 win in 2009. Since then, the Vikings are 0-4-1 at Lambeau Field, including a 2012 playoff game.
“I had no idea,” Bridgewater said. “That’s an interesting fact, a cool fact.”
It’s one the rookie quarterback could help change if he plays Thursday night at Lambeau. He suffered a sprained left ankle last Sunday against Atlanta and didn’t practice Tuesday for the second straight day, but coach Mike Zimmer remains hopeful that Bridgewater will be able to make his second career start.
“Teddy is doing much better,’’ Zimmer said. “If he can play, he will play.”
Zimmer’s hope is that Bridgewater can get some work in during a workout Wednesday the coach called a “jog-through.”
Bridgewater has spent the short week getting treatment. He was on the field watching the latter part of Tuesday’s workout.
The ankle, he said, “feels pretty good. Each day, making progress and just kind of keep moving, moving forward and trying to get ready for this Thursday.”
“I am much,” he added, “much further ahead than I was Sunday.”
That’s potentially good news for the Vikings as they head into their only nationally televised game of the season. Bridgewater’s play has given the team some much-needed positive publicity following the suspension of star running back Adrian Peterson following his Sept. 12 indictment on a felony charge of child abuse.
In his first start, Bridgewater completed 19 of 30 passes for 317 yards in a 41-28 win over Atlanta. He also scored on a 13-yard touchdown run.
“I don’t want to prematurely put the crown on his head already,” said Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings, “but he definitely has everything that it takes. The No. 1 thing that I noticed right out of the gate was his poise, his demeanor within the huddle in crucial situations. ... That’s Teddy all day, every day.”
If Bridgewater can’t go, Christian Ponder would get his first start since Dec. 1, 2013, against Chicago. Ponder started a Nov. 24, 2013, game at Lambeau Field that ended in a 26-26 tie.
“I’m preparing to play, but we’re hoping for the best with Teddy,” said Ponder, who took first-team reps Monday and Tuesday. “I’ve talked with Teddy; he’s doing everything he can to get ready and play.”
Offensive coordinator Norv Turner said it’s hard to get one quarterback ready to play on a short week, let alone two, but Bridgewater spoke optimistcally.
“It’ll be very exciting to be out there on Thursday,” Bridgewater said. “You talk about Lambeau Field, the history and the tradition behind that stadium. It’s going to be a great feeling just being able to play in that facility.”
Bridgewater grew up cheering for Favre. The rookie was 15 when Favre played his last game for Green Bay in 2007 after 16 seasons with the team.
“I just remember growing up and being a huge fan of Brett Favre,” Bridgewater said. “I feel like he’s one of the toughest quarterbacks to play this game, and I admire everything about him.”
After spending 2008 with the New York Jets, Favre played for the Vikings in 2009-10. He led them to a 38-26 win in his 2009 return to Green Bay.
Since then, Minnesota has lost at Lambeau Field 28-24 in 2010, 45-7 in 2011, 23-14 in 2012 and 24-10 in the 2012 playoffs before last year’s tie.
If he’s able to go, Bridgewater will try to do something about the winless streak.
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