For those who might have had their brains wiped clean of the 2015 season, or choose to deny its existence to help themselves sleep at night, the Minnesota Vikings were a missed field goal away from winning a playoff game.
A kick hooked left sent the Vikings home and Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett literally to the ground on one knee, praising the heavens for his team's good fortune. Fast forward to August 2016, and the Seahawks and Vikings met again in preseason action Thursday night. There was one surprising absence: Teddy Bridgewater, suited up and ready to go, never took the field for Minnesota.
When asked after the game why Bridgewater, who practiced all week prior to the game, was left on the bench for the entire game, head coach Mike Zimmer said simply, "because I sat him."
And the reasoning for that was ...?
Reporters began asking if it was disciplinary. Zimmer shot that down.
"Teddy Bridgewater is the nicest kid in the world," Zimmer said, via the Minnesota Star-Tribune. "There is no disciplinary action ever with Teddy. It had nothing to do with discipline and it had to do with my decision."
Let's ask one more time, just for good measure.
"It was my decision. How many times are we going to go through this? It was my decision. Good enough?"
Well, if that's all we're going to get, sure.
Bridgewater started the preseason with a solid performance and appears to be headed toward a season with more offensive weapons than ever, and a defense that some think will be even better than it was in 2015. If his benching was just a coach's decision, it wasn't an unwise one. If the lone reason to play Bridgewater is to get some live reps against one of the NFL's better defenses, erring on the side of caution and keeping your franchise quarterback protected from possible and meaningless injury is never a bad look, especially against a fellow contender.