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Teddy Bridgewater suffers dislocated knee, torn ACL

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Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a dislocated knee and torn ACL at practice Tuesday, the team announced in a release.

"After undergoing an MRI, it was determined that Teddy suffered a complete tear to his ACL and other structural damage," the statement read. "Fortunately, there appears to be no nerve or arterial damage. Surgical repair will be scheduled within the next few days.

"Although the recovery time will be significant, we expect Teddy to make a full recovery. I would like to thank all of the medical professionals and our athletic training staff for all of their help today. Teddy has already displayed the attitude needed to overcome this injury and attack his rehab."

The injury announcement came about two hours after an emotional scene unfolded at Vikings practice when Bridgewater went down with a non-contact injury that ended the session after just 30 minutes. Zimmer said the 23-year-old had to be sedated before undergoing an MRI at the hospital.

When asked if there was a chance Bridgewater could play this season, Zimmer responded at the time, "It doesn't look good right now."

"We're not going to stick our heads in the sand, tuck our tail between our legs," Zimmer said about the bind Bridgewater's injury could put the team in. "We're not going to make excuses.

"Everybody can count us out but I think that'd be the wrong thing to do."

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Bridgewater was grabbing his left knee at practice as teammates prayed around him.

Bridgewater was taken off the field in an ambulance to the hospital, igniting the team's worst possible fears.

Even though Bridgewater only threw 14 touchdowns last year, he paced a run-first offense that helped the Vikings win the division and come within a missed field goal of beating the Seahawks in the playoffs. Over his first two seasons, he passed for more yards than any quarterback in Vikings history over the same time frame. He also has the highest completion percentage (64.9) of any quarterback over his first two seasons in NFL history. His 3,231 yards passing earned him a Pro Bowl bid and propelled the 2014 first-round pick into his third season. The preseason gave us glimpses of the best Bridgewater yet -- something that coach Zimmer was adamant about throughout the offseason.

So it goes during the preseason -- one of the most horrifying times for an NFL coach as he tries to balance the importance of practice and the risk of non-contact injuries. Bridgewater started all 16 games for the Vikings a year ago and 12 his rookie season. This preseason, Bridgewater was 18 of 23 (78.3 percent) with 253, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Shaun Hill and Joel Stave are the team's other quarterbacks.

Hill, who is 34, is 16-18 as a starter in his career. The Vikings attempted the fewest passes per game (28.4) last season, which might leave some to wonder why there is so much concern in Minneapolis.

"I have confidence in Shaun," Zimmer said. "I think he's played great this preseason. He's been in two-minute drills. He's done a phenomenal job.

"The thing we have to remember is this is about the team, this isn't a one-man deal," Zimmer continued. "We will all feel terrible if it is real significant for Teddy. This is about the team. We have a good team. We have a good defense team. Our offensive line is much better. We have good receivers, maybe the best running back in the NFL. So this is about a team and us trying to figure out how to win football games."

This offseason, the Vikings spent another first-round pick on a wide receiver -- Laquon Treadwell -- in the hopes that his playmaking ability could match Bridgewater's budding promise as a franchise quarterback. Now, the question becomes where -- and how -- they can find a replacement who can lift the offense in a similar way. Minnesota is stockpiled with mid and late-round picks in the 2017 which may come in handy over the coming weeks. Despite a booming market for veteran quarterbacks, many, like Colin Kaepernick, Josh McCown, Mark Sanchez and Aaron Murray, have not moved as clubs wait for final roster cut downs to make their decisions.

On Wednesday, the team officially placed Bridgewater on injured reserve and re-signed quarterback Brad Sorensen, who was recently waived by the team.

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