Teddy Bridgewater will start for Saints vs. Panthers

It's Teddy time in New Orleans.

With the New Orleans Saints already locking up home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will start over Drew Brees in Sunday's regular-season finale against the Carolina Panthers, coach Sean Payton said.

"It's been so long, since 2015, the last time I started a game," Bridgewater said, according to the The Times-Picayune. "It's a great feeling. I'm excited. I'm trying to keep my composure. It's just another notch to check off the list.

"You get the chills thinking about it."

Brees hinted at the move earlier this week when he told reporters he expected Bridgewater to see significant playing time against the Panthers.

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 Wednesday, 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 has appeared in four games for the Saints since being acquired in a trade with the New York Jets in August. He has only attempted one pass in a Saints uniform, but Sunday's start will give him a chance to show what he can accomplish in a regular-season game.

With Bridgewater set to hit free agency this offseason, his start against the Panthers could draw plenty of attention from QB-hungry general managers. He put in a few very strong performances for the Jets during the preseason and there's a chance that a strong game on Sunday could lead to a potential starting job somewhere else in the league.

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