A group of Teddy Bridgewater's teammates showed up at the hospital Tuesday night to cheer him up, but he turned the tables and did the encouraging.
Hours after suffering a season-ending dislocated knee at a practice, the third-year quarterback kept his cool in this Vikings huddle.
"We went to try to cheer him up, but he was already cheerful," Vikings guard Alex Boone said. "He's one of those guys who's just resilient until the end, so you have to love it. We all came down there pretty bummed out, but he got everybody excited."
Boone, who has only shared a locker room with Bridgewater since March, said it boosted the team's confidence to see their quarterback hadn't lost his edge – or his confidence in the Vikings to continue pursuing their goals for 2016.
"If he were to come in and be sad and upset, it would make everybody else feel sad, but that's not who he is," Boone said. "He's a leader."
Kyle Rudolph, Adrian Peterson and Captain Munnerlyn were among the players joining Boone during the visit.
"We just wanted to go check on him," Munnerlyn said. "That's my brother. I've been with Teddy since he got here […] so a group of us went to check on our brother.
"I don't know if I could have been like that if that happened to me," Munnerlyn added. "He's a believer. He believes that he'll be back better than ever."
Munnerlyn, who's also entering his third year with the Vikings, said he felt it was important to visit his "little brother" at the hospital to let him know that it's more than just football – the Vikings family cares about Bridgewater as a person.
The cornerback said he found it overwhelming to see Bridgewater in such high spirits. Just like Bridgewater's earned a reputation of remaining poised in the pocket, he continues to keep his cool in the face of adversity. Bridgewater's attitude re-inspired Munnerlyn and his teammates to remain focused and motivated on the season ahead.
"He still had that Teddy-B smile," Munnerlyn said. "He was still making jokes.
"It put a smile on my face," he added. "It let me know anything is possible."
Boone said he's looking forward to Bridgewater re-joining the team, albeit on the sidelines, for the regular season. While he won't be in the huddle, Boone has no doubts that Bridgewater will lead from the sidelines.
"I'm sure he's going to be out of control and excited – getting everybody fired up and making sure they're in the right spot," Boone said. "He's a leader like that, and that's what's so great about him. He's young, but he can do things like that."
After being released from the hospital Thursday, Bridgewater **released a statement** that promised teammates, coaches and fans alike that he will remain with his team physically, emotionally and mentally. Bridgewater wrote:
In order to have a testimony, you have to have a test. I come from amazing DNA, I watched my mom fight and win against breast cancer. We will, as a team, attack my rehab with the same vigor and energy. My faith is strong, my faith is unwavering and my vision is clear. My purpose will not be denied.
"The statement he put out today was like, 'Wow.' It almost put tears in my eyes," Munnerlyn said. "It let everybody know that, 'I'm going to be OK. I have faith, I'll be back, and I'll back better than ever.' "