The Vikings' Matt Cassel, hobbled on crutches, spoke to reporters as the team returned to practice Wednesday, just a few days after their quarterback suffered a season-ending foot injury in New Orleans.
"It's devastating to me," Cassel said. "The hard work that goes into an off-season to put yourself in a position to get where we're at; there was a strong belief we were going to have a lot of success this year. To not be able to perform and compete, it's a tough deal having it taken away by an injury."
Saints linebacker Curtis Lofton tackled him from behind, forcing the weight from the tackle onto Cassel's foot. Cassel says he did not know how severely he was injured until his foot was X-rayed in the locker room. He is scheduled to meet with a specialist in North Carolina on Thursday.
Cassel said his focus is now solely on rehabbing and getting healthy and his role with the team now becomes more of a mentoring role.
"I'll be here for these guys, I'll support them, I'll support Teddy [Bridgewater] and I think Teddy will do a tremendous job," said Cassel.
Bridgewater came in and completed 12 of 20 passes for 150 yards after Cassel was injured Sunday. Cassel's comments about Bridgewater were very similar to the comments from Vikings coach Mike Zimmer earlier in the day.
"I think he's approached it the right way, I think he has a great attitude and I think he has a tremendous skill set. He has all the intangibles and tangibles to play at a high level, so it's just about him grasping the offense and going out there and doing it."
The Vikings host Atlanta Sunday afternoon at TCF Bank Stadium.