Professional Sports

The Man Behind the Tape

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Professional Sports

The Man Behind the Tape

Article reposted from Mesabi Daily News
Author: MIKE HAUTAMAKI
We won’t know the full extent of Teddy Bridgewater’s knee injury until after his surgery today, but regardless of how bad the damage is I am optimistic in him recovering and making it back on to the football field.

I’m optimistic because Teddy’s got two important people in his corner. The first is Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman, the best man in the business and best known for the work he did in getting Adrian Peterson in top form again after his major knee injury. No one expected Peterson to recover as quickly as he did, let alone return with an MVP season.

Peterson has always been sort of a genetic freak, though. What impressed me more was Sugarman’s work with E.J. Henderson.

You may recall Henderson’s gruesome leg injury suffered in 2009. A broken femur is not common in football, so Sugarman got to work and essentially wrote the book on rehabbing that injury. A year later, Henderson was selected to the Pro Bowl.

So if anyone can get Teddy back on the field, it’s Eric Sugarman.

The other person in his corner is Rose Murphy, his mother. Rose is a breast cancer survivor and Teddy has already stated that she will be a source of inspiration for him in his recovery. When his mother was diagnosed, Bridgewater wanted to quit football so he could take care of her, but she wouldn’t let him. And she’s not going to let him give up now, either.

Teddy’s injury was a punch to the gut of Vikings fans who had high hopes for this season. Rick Spielman had to do something, so he swung a trade for Sam Bradford. A first round pick was too high a cost, but the Vikings were over a barrel and other teams took advantage of it.

I like Bradford. I think he has been shortchanged by poor coaching and lousy talent around him, but at best he gets the Vikings back to the playoffs. I don’t see him helping them win a championship unless Minnesota’s defense takes another step and enters all-time great territory like Denver’s did last season.

It’s good to have Bradford under contract for the next two seasons. It reassures Bridgewater that he doesn’t have to rush his rehab, and it gives the front office and coaching staff time to gauge Teddy’s recovery and plan for the future, if necessary.

I think that future will include Teddy, though. Eric Sugarman and Rose Murphy will see to it.