EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (KMSP) - It was the unthinkable --- Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater sustained a serious knee injury before the season even started at practice Tuesday.
According to the Vikings’ head athletic trainer, Bridgewater dislocated his knee and tore his ACL – an injury that effectively ended his 2016-2017 season.
“The bad [news] is that he's got a lot of recovery to get back at the high level that he was functioning at, the good is that because he was already functioning at a very high level his ability to recover that function tends to be better than the average person,” Dr. Marc Tompkins, an orthopedic surgeon at TRIA Orthopedic Center.
Starting with the torn ACL -- it's a common injury -- but with the Vikings saying there is "other structural damage" -- there could be more going on.
“The ACL is torn and it's possible that there are other ligaments involved, it's not uncommon with an injury like that to also have some damage to the meniscus, which is basically the shock absorber in the knee,” Tompkins said.
But a dislocated knee is not as common of an injury, and is far worse than if it were just the knee cap.
“What happens with a dislocated knee is the lower leg bone and the top leg boneare no longer aligned like this,” Tompkins said.
Teddy's injuries came with no contact from another player. He was stepping back. Thompkins says a dislocated knee without contact is highly unusual.
“The most common ways of getting a knee dislocation are motor vehicle accidents. Sometimes sports injuries but they're usually high velocity like in football [when] somebody plants their foot but then someone comes in and tackles at the knee at high speed,” Tompkins said.
Tompkins said there is likely more information the Vikings are not sharing about Bridgewater’s injury right now, but will come out in time.
What is extremely important is that there is no nerve or blood vessel damage, which could have made the prognosis much worse. The quarterback is looking at least six to 12 months of recovery and, if the damage is more than we know right now, possibly longer.