That might seem like the most obvious headline we’ve ever written, but sadly it is not because modern logic when it comes to sports is all messed up.
Here’s the deal with Teddy Bridgewater: If he’s healthy enough to play — not necessarily 100 percent because once you get into the season, few players remain 100 percent — he should play. It does not matter that sitting him tonight would give Bridgewater extra time to heal for next week. It does not matter that it’s supposed to rain. It does not matter that he is a rookie.
What matters is that, if healthy enough to play, he is the best option the Vikings have at quarterback. He could very well have a bright future ahead, and it is important not to unnecessarily expose him to a higher risk of re-injuring the ankle IF he is not healthy enough to play.
But the future vanishes into the present quickly every year. Right now, the Vikings are 2-2 in the NFC North. It’s a mediocre division that figures to be wide open until the end. Even if this started out as a rebuilding year, the present says this: a win tonight would put the Vikings at 3-2, one game ahead of their border rivals and with a road victory already in hand. Detroit might be 3-1 now, but the Packers are still this division’s biggest threat.
As such, a win would put the Vikings in a very nice position going forward. That doesn’t mean they should play Bridgewater at all costs. But it means that if he is healthy enough to play, he should because the only thing that really matters is that he gives the Vikings the best chance to win right now.
That sentiment gets lost sometimes on fans who give up on seasons when they are barely started, preferring instead to be seduced by the potential of the future. Might as well start tanking now! Get that high draft pick!
No. Win. Always try to win. Feel free to gaze off into the future every now and then, but on game day keep both eyes fixed on the present. That means Teddy if he’s healthy.
Teddy Bridgewater is officially listed as questionable for Thursday’s Vikings/Packers game, after doing some light work in practice today.
While we’d still be stunned if he doesn’t play — or at least we’re telling ourselves that so Sid won’t have ridiculous bragging rights and we won’t have to go to his house wearing a Ponder jersey — but questionable is questionable. It’s technically 50-50. So we’re left with this as a dueling best-case scenario:
1) Bridgewater is 90 percent or better and is able to suit up. The ankle hurts a little, but it’s manageable. He performs the same way he did last week, as does the offensive line and running game, while Mike Zimmer’s defense continues to give Aaron Rodgers problems. The Vikings win and Bridgewater is an instant legend — gutting out an injury on a short week to move the Vikings to 3-2, a game ahead of their division rivals, with a road win in hand.
2) Bridgewater can’t play, and Christian Ponder — somehow calmed and with an all-new “who cares, let’s just play” outlook — comes to the rescue. He isn’t as dynamic as Bridgewater was last week, but he makes enough plays with his arms and feet to put the Vikings in position to win — and this time, unlike last season, Minnesota is able to muster one final defensive stand to hold on for a victory.
Are we betting on either of those things? We’d bet harder on the first than the second, though we’d be on the underdog side in either case. But football is weird. It will be worth watching, regardless of which QB gets the nod.
The Wild plays Thursday night in St. Louis and it will be the final chance for some to make an impression. Justin Fontaine will miss a couple weeks and definitely the Oct. 9 opener with a lower-body injury.
Teddy Bridgewater is listed as questionable for Thursday’s game against the Packers at Lambeau Field.
The Vikings rookie quarterback participated in practice for the first time Wednesday, though he was limited. Bridgewater said on Tuesday he planned to run for the first time since spraining the ankle in Sunday’s 41-28 against the Falcons. Until that point, the rookie has only done flexibility exercises during rehab.
If Bridgewater is unable to play, Christian Ponder would start. He got first team reps in Bridgewater’s absence this week at practice and finished Sunday’s game after Bridgewater suffered the injury.
Linebacker Chad Greenway will miss his second consecutive game because of a broken rib. He snapped a streak of 90 consecutive starts against the Falcons and did not practice with the quick turnaround against the Packers. Gerald Hodges will start in Greenway’s place once again.
Cornerbacks Captain Munnerlyn (illness) and Josh Robinson (hamstring) and running back Jerick McKinnon (ankle) were all full participants after being limited on Tuesday. They’re all listed as probable.
For the Packers, linebacker Clay Matthews (groin) is listed as probable after participating fully on Tuesday and Wednesday. Wide receiver Jarrett Boykin (groin) is listed as out, while linebacker Sam Barrington (hamstring) and defensive tackle Josh Boyd (knee) are doubtful.
Guard T.J. Lang (not injury related), linebacker/defensive end Mike Neal (hip) and linebacker Brad Jones (quad) are all listed as probable.