Two concussions punctuated Teddy Bridgewater's season, but as far as he's concerned, they won't be the period on the end of his career. The Broncos quarterback is undeterred by what has been a trying seventh pro season, and intends to be back in 2022, be it in Denver or elsewhere.
"It comes with the game. Every time I hit the ground, I ask God, 'Why am I doing this?'" Bridgewater said, via the Associated Press. "And then when I get up, when I come to work on a Wednesday and see the guys working hard, that's why you do it, the interactions you have with the guys in the locker room, the smiles you get to put on the fans' faces, the feeling of competing. That's why you do this."
If Bridgewater has truly questioned his NFL existence every time he's been knocked down this season, he's done so quite often. He's been sacked 31 times, and pressured on 37.4 percent of his drop backs, second only to Miami's Jacoby Brissett in the NFL among quarterbacks who've thrown more than 20 passes. Bridgewater sustained his first concussion on Oct. 3 in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens, but was able to start the following week. A more serious concussion came in Week 15 against the Cincinnati Bengals, when he was upended at the end of a scramble and landed awkwardly on his facemask and shoulder pads. He was hospitalized until the following day, hasn't played since, and was placed on injured reserve earlier this week.
Whether Bridgewater's 2022 return comes in Denver remains to be seen, as he's set to become an unrestricted free agent. In his first season with the Broncos, after being acquired from the Carolina Panthers for a sixth-round draft pick, he won the starting nod over Drew Lock in the preseason and led the team to an impressive 3-0 start. Denver's season unraveled from there, however, and at 7-9 with one game left to play against the Kansas City Chiefs, the team failed to reach the postseason for the sixth consecutive campaign.
Bridgewater completed 285 of 426 passes for 3,052 yards, 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions on the year.
But eight years into an injury plagued career, he's determined to write a different ending.
"Yeah, that's the nature of the business. You survive, man. And I tell everyone, I've been through the (unpredictability of the) NFL offseason the past couple of years and I understand things happen, decisions are made and it's business," Bridgewater added. "But I'm still gonna survive, man. No matter where or how it happens, I've just got to have that mindset always."