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Saints' Teddy Bridgewater ready for extended minutes

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Sean Payton wouldn't divulge the New Orleans Saints plans for Sunday's meaningless season finale versus the Carolina Panthers, but Drew Brees provided a hint.

At the very least, Brees said he expects backup Teddy Bridgewater to play significant snaps Sunday. How much appears yet to be determined.

"I'm excited for him," Brees said, via the team's official website. "I think there's no doubt he's going to get some playing time. It's just a matter of how much. He's the kind of guy who prepares to play every week. I'm sure he's excited to play, but we're all excited for him and some other young guys that are probably going to get some significant playing time."

The MVP candidate didn't say how much he might play. In a mirror situation during the 2009 seasons, Payton sat Brees for the season finale versus the Panthers.

It's notable that Brees sits at 3,992 yards passing on the season. While the quarterback said getting to the 4,000-yard mark "doesn't define me at all," there is a chance that Payton gives Brees a few series to get past the barrier then hands things over to Teddy Bridgewater.

Or maybe Teddy B plays the whole game. Regardless, Brees' comments indicate Bridgewater will see his first significant regular-season snaps since 2015.

After suffering a devastating knee injury before the 2016 season, Bridgewater has attempted just three passes in two years. The 26-year-old isn't worried about the long break from meaningful action.

"I never turned it off," Bridgewater said, per Nick Underhill of The Advocate. "Being in the position that I'm in you always have to stay ready. That's been my mindset since I arrived here. Approach each day with the same mindset that your opportunity can come within a blink of an eye."

Bridgewater will be a free agent after the season. He could already be the most highly coveted veteran in a bear market after showing he was healthy during the preseason with the New York Jets. A good performance on Sunday in his first elongated audition might boost that stock.

Whatever chance Teddy B gets, he's ready to "take advantage of it."

"If I have the opportunity to get out there, I'll be excited," he said.

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