Teddy Bridgewater gave his surgeon permission to speak publicly about operating on his knee, and the details are not for the squeamish.
The then-Minnesota Vikings quarterback suffered a non-contact injury in his knee during the 2016 season, and all that really was known was that it was an ACL tear and other structural damage took place. But it appears the damage was quite gruesome, so much so that it was a “gut check” to those involved in repairing it.
Dan Cooper, the surgeon who performed the surgery, shared some of the gory details of the now-New York Jets signal-caller’s knee surgery in an interview with ESPN.
“It was just a horribly grotesque injury,” Cooper said.
“It’s mangled. You make the skin incision, and there’s nothing there. It’s almost like a war wound. Everything is blown.”
Cooper made clear multiple times to ESPN how amazed he was that Bridgewater was able to recover from the surgery the way he did, giving himself a second chance in the NFL.
And in describing some more of the details, Cooper indicated just how unlikely a comeback was.
“But it’s certainly the worst knee dislocation in sports I’ve ever seen without having a nerve or vessel injury,” Cooper said. “It’s an injury that about 20-25 percent of NFL players are able to come back from. … It’s a horrific injury. You’ve torn every single thing in your knee and it’s hanging on by one ligament on one side like a hinge.”
Bridgewater is far from the clear-cut starter for the Jets this season, and very well could be moved to a different team. He’s shown flashes of tremendous skill, and if his resolve from his rehab is any indication, he’s got the mental fortitude to help whatever team he plays for.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports Images