IN THE SPOT­LIGHT

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - SPORTS -

THE KNEE BROTH­ER­HOOD

When Hous­ton Tex­ans quar­ter­back De­Shaun Wat­son went down with a sea­son-end­ing ACL in­jury, there were hun­dreds of play­ers around the league who could painfully re­late. One of those was Min­nesota Vik­ings quar­ter­back Teddy Bridge­wa­ter, who re­turned to prac­tice from a 14-month ab­sence just be­fore Wat­son was hurt. Bridge­wa­ter’s knee in­jury was more se­vere, a dis­lo­ca­tion with mul­ti­ple lig­a­ment tears, but the sen­ti­ment re­mained the same.

“He comes from a back­ground where he had to over­come ob­sta­cles his en­tire life. Noth­ing ever comes easy, and I know that he’s go­ing to at­tack his re­hab full speed,” Bridge­wa­ter said.

Bridge­wa­ter has plenty of team­mates in his locker room to try to en­cour­age and in­spire as well, in­clud­ing rookie run­ning back Dalvin Cook, who tore his ACL six weeks ago.

“Dalvin, he lives in the neigh­bor­hood. This right here is called the neigh­bor­hood,” Bridge­wa­ter said, ad­ding: “He can lean on me, and I give him dif­fer­ent ad­vice and I know what it takes with hav­ing some­one around who keeps you lifted.”

As for Wat­son, Bridge­wa­ter said he planned to con­tact him di­rectly soon, but im­me­di­ately after Wat­son’s in­jury last week he lim­ited his com­mu­ni­ca­tion to Twit­ter. That’s be­cause Bridge­wa­ter re­ceived what he es­ti­mated at 800 text mes­sages after he was hurt on Aug. 30, 2016. Bridge­wa­ter said this week he needed three months to fin­ish re­spond­ing to all of them.

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