Ignoring for a moment Jets, it's important to remember that Teddy Bridgewater actually playing football and looking good doing it is a really fantastic story.away from the
And it nearly didn't happen: describe to ESPN's Ian O'Connor what it looked like when he cut open Bridgewater to perform the surgery -- well, it's something else., . That's . And to hear his surgeon, Dan Cooper,
"It's mangled," Cooper said. "You make the skin incision, and there's nothing there. It's almost like a war wound. Everything is blown."
Think about that for a second: Bridgewater's leg/knee looked basically like he stepped on an IED. Nothing's there. That's wild.
Cooper also called it "just a horribly grotesque injury" and said that returning from the surgery is one of the very hardest things he's seen anyone do, that he's seen the recovery "break people down."
"This surgery was an absolute gut test, a test of what you're made of, and I've seen it break people down," Cooper said. "I never saw it break Teddy down. ... Most people have no idea the volume of the workload this kid had to put in. He had a toothpick of a leg he had to rebuild."
According to Cooper, who was granted permission to talk with O'Connor by Bridgewater, the first surgery the former Vikings quarterback underwent lasted a whopping 4 1/2 hours. The second surgery lasted another hour. Cooper estimated that "20-25 percent" of NFL players who dealt with this injury would be able to recover from it, which is a true testament to Bridgewater's dedication.
"But it's certainly the worst knee dislocation in sports I've ever seen without having a nerve or vessel injury," Cooper said. "It's an injury that about 20-25 percent of NFL players are able to come back from. ... It's a horrific injury. You've torn every single thing in your knee and it's hanging on by one ligament on one side like a hinge."
First Cooper took care of the ACL, then he went on to deal with the rest of Bridgewater's leg and knee.
"And then everything on the lateral side of his knee was reconstructed, about five ligaments over there," Cooper told O'Connor. "We repaired them, then took one of his own hamstring tendons and transplanted it to the lateral side of his knee."
The entire story is worth a read, because hearing a world-renowned sports surgeon (Bridgewater was recommended to Cooper by Bill Parcells, who is a mentor of Bridgewater's) talk about the injury and the recovery like this is pretty mind blowing.
Long story short, the odds were stacked against Bridgewater, and yet here is is in 2018, just two years removed from the injury, playing again at a high level. The kid is a player of high character, and he was already on his way to turning into an above-average quarterback when he suffered the injury.
Someone should try and lock him down and see if he can become the face of a franchise. If he fails, it won't be for lack of trying.