Surgeon says Teddy Bridgewater's knee was mangled 'like a war wound'

The surgeon who operated on Bridgewater provided a detailed description.
Publish date:

The two-year anniversary of Teddy Bridgewater's career-threatening knee injury is approaching, and with it comes a new story detailing the extent of the former Vikings quarterback's injury.

From afar, it was a torn ACL and dislocated knee that cost Bridgewater the entire 2016 season and all but nine snaps of 2017. Up close, in the eyes of the surgeon who operated on Bridgewater nine days after his knee gave out, it was much worse. 

"It's mangled," Dr. Dan Cooper said in an interview with ESPN. "You make the skin incision, and there's nothing there. It's almost like a war wound. Everything is blown."

Cooper's description is unsettling to say the least. But he also provided perspective to show just how miraculous it is that Bridgewater is again competing for a starting job in the NFL. 

The surgeon referred to Bridgewater's leg as a "toothpick" that he "had to rebuild," noting that he tore everything in his knee and "it's hanging on by one ligament on one side like a hinge." 

Bridgewater, still just 25 years old, might not be with the Jets for much longer. There is a lot of speculation that New York will give rookie first-round pick Sam Darnold the starting job, and 39-year-old Josh McCown the backup role. 

So while Bridgewater has played well enough to be in the discussion to start, the direction the Jets are going suggests a trade might be imminent. 

Whatever happens, Bridgewater will have fans in Minnesota supporting him till the end, and he's likely won over a tough crowd in New York as well. 

Next Up