It’s been a lengthy road back from the devastating knee injury that nearly ended Teddy Bridgewater‘s career two years. And while Bridgewater is playing in real football games once again – even if they’re only preseason games – the concern over whether his legs could withstand the dangers of football collisions lingered.
Even for Bridgewater himself.
So when Bridgewater was hit in the back of the legs by a Washington Redskins defender and took a pair of sacks during Thursday night’s game, it was actually a moment he had been waiting for.
“I just wanted to get hit. I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do or say as a QB, but for me, it’s just continuing to knock down that mental block,” Bridgewater said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “I could have thrown the ball away or run out-of-bounds, but I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could take a hit. It was fun. Get up, smile, tell the guys, ‘Hey, that was nothing. Next play.’”
After completing 7 of 8 passes for 85 yards and a touchdown in his Jets preseason debut last week against the Atlanta Falcons, Bridgewater again looked comfortable against Washington, completing 10 of 15 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown with an interception. The former Minnesota Vikings starter looked capable of handling the job this year in New York should the Jets elect to wait on throwing Sam Darnold into the fire right away.
While Bridgewater was happy about taking some hits, his head coach wasn’t quite as enthused about Bridgewater’s desires.
“Fortunately for him and unfortunately for me, he wanted to get hit some,” Todd Bowles said, via Mehta. “I told him that I have a neighborhood where he can get hit quite a bit if he wants to get hit.”
Bridgewater managed to come out of the game completely unscathed, which will please both the quarterback and the coach regardless of the way it happened. And if it makes Bridgewater feel that much more secure about his health moving forward, that should be a welcome positive for the Jets as well.