Ben Goessling: Vikings' Bridgewater returns to playoffs in different role, …


There’s a great coffee table sports book, I’ve long contended, to be made out of stories that would have been published had last-minute events not changed the outcome of a game and banished those stories to the dustbin of history.

Case in point: When I was covering the 2016 NFC wild-card playoffs for ESPN, I had a story ready to go about Teddy Bridgewater’s coming-of-age moment, how he’d outplayed Russell Wilson in frigid conditions and engineered a game-winning drive to eliminate the two-time NFC champions and become the first Vikings QB to win a playoff game since Brett Favre.

And then …

Two years later, the Vikings are preparing to play their first playoff game since the Blair Walsh miss, and Case Keenum is set to lead their offense against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Bridgewater, once the team’s young franchise quarterback, could carry that title again someday. But for the moment, though he said he’s fully recovered from the catastrophic knee injury he suffered on Aug. 30, 2016, he’s backing up Keenum, waiting for his chance to be the Vikings’ QB again.

I wanted to see on Friday how Bridgewater feels about all of this, what it’s like for him to be back in the playoffs – albeit in a different role – for the first time since that game and how he’s processed the Vikings’ postseason trip at the end of a whirlwind year.

Does the…



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