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Transcript: Zimmer Addressed the Media Tuesday

*Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer *

Today Teddy (Bridgewater) suffered a significant knee injury. We don't know the extent of it yet. He's undergoing tests at the hospital and as soon as we find out the information then Eric Sugarman will release all of the details of what he had done, what the injury was and give you full details.

Q: What did you see from your vantage point?

A: Actually I was looking down the field. I watched it on tape and it was a non-contact thing. It was a freaky deal.

Q: Do you have a timetable for how long you expect him to be out?

A: I don't. I'll find out more information as we get going. We'll let you know tonight or tomorrow as soon as we find out what the extent of it is. We'll let you know as soon as possible.

Q: Is there a possibility that this is a season ending injury?

A: It's possible.  

Q: Have you talked with Teddy?

A: I just talked with him when he was coming off of the field. I talked to his mom a couple of times just to update her on what's going on the best we can.

Q: What did you say to your players?

A: Well you know today is a disappointing day. Number one Teddy is such an amazing kid. Everybody loves him. So it was disappointing for them and I didn't think we were going to get much out of practice. We'll get back in here tomorrow and we'll get back to work. We're not going to stick our heads in the sand. We're going to tuck our tail between our legs. We're not looking for excuses. We're going to go out and fight like we always do. We got some great football players on this team. We'll figure ways to win football games if he's not here and that's what we're going to do.

Q: Did you get a chance to meet with the team in its entirety?

A: Yes. I talked to the team.

Q: What was the immediate concern to automatically get an ambulance here? Was it swelling? Was it some other concern to make this such an important thing to get him to the hospital?

A: (Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer) Eric (Sugarman) is in charge of all that. He told me his guys handled it great. He wanted to make sure that. The No. 1 concern anytime anything like this happens is the welfare of our players, and if it would have been anybody else, we would have handled it exactly the same way.

Q: Based on that initial diagnosis on the field, is there any hope he plays this season?

A: I don't know. It doesn't look good right now.

Q: If you have to go any stretch without Teddy Bridgewater, what's your confidence in Shaun Hill to lead the team?

A: I have confidence in Shaun. I think he has played great this preseason. He has been in two-minute drills. He has done a phenomenal job, and the thing we all have to remember is, this is about the team. This isn't about a one-man deal. We all feel terrible if it is significant, real significant, for Teddy, but this is about the team. We have a real good team. We have a good defensive team. Our offensive line is much better. We have good receivers. We have maybe the best running back in the NFL. So, this is about a team, and it's about us trying to figure out ways to win football games.

Q: You've had experience losing a major piece of your team, obviously, with the Adrian Peterson episode. What do you draw upon to really prevent this from hitting the psyche of the club?

A: I've talked to Coach (Bill) Parcells a couple times today. I've talked to – well, in spirit, I've talked to my dad, and he always found a way to do it. So, we're going to figure out a way. So, we're going to figure out a way. We're not going to stick our heads in the sand. We're going to figure out a way. Everybody can count us out if they want, but I think that'd be the wrong thing to do.

Q: What was Teddy saying when you talked to him coming off the field?

A: He wasn't saying much. I just told him, 'Hang in there, and we hope the best for him.'

Q: Will you guys look to pick up a veteran-type quarterback very soon?

A: I don't know. Rick (Spielman) and I have been talking about it. So, we'll continue to go, and when we know more information about Teddy, then we'll go from there.

Q: Is there any chance you bring Brad Sorensen back?

A: There's a chance. We've got a game in two days.

Q: What information do you have on Teddy's condition right now, just in terms of whether he's stable right now after having been rushed to the hospital?

A: They sedated him, and they are putting him through (an MRI). He's in an MRI right this second.

Q: Can you tell us where Teddy was taken?

A: I don't think that's. You know what, he's a great kid, let's let him get healthy and get taken care of. Let's not deal with all this stuff, please, okay? I'm just asking you because I love this kid, our fans love this kid.

Q: What did you say to him on the field?

A: Just told him, 'Hang in there, we're with him, hope for the best.' 

Q: What do you make of the players reaction?

A: They would've reacted like that if it was probably anybody but me.     

Q: How do you as a Head Coach help your players deal with the grief of losing a teammate as beloved as Teddy Bridgewater?

A: It's tough today but tomorrow the sun's going to….Hey, my wife passed away seven years ago, right? It was a tough day, the sun came up the next day, the world kept spinning. People kept going to work. That's what we're going to do. 

Q: Will you give Shaun Hill a lot of opportunities on Thursday night?

A: I don't know, we've talked a little bit about Thursday night but we'll talk more about that as coaches tomorrow. 

Q: Can you afford to play Shaun Hill on Thursday?

A: I don't know. We'll discuss all those things. I mean have an idea of what I'm going to do.

Q: How tough was it to release John Sullivan?

A: It was tough but we're always going to try to do what's in the best interest of the football team. We thought (Joe) Berger played good all last year, thought he had a good preseason. We rotated him every single day and from our grades and the way we graded things we thought that Berger was better. 

Q: Was your confidence in Shaun Hill wavering at all before the second preseason game?

A: I don't think so. I mean, I think that he played good in the first preseason game, too. He played good in the second preseason game against a pretty good defensive football team. He played good the other day. He didn't play many plays but he got us in the endzone. No, I wasn't really wavering.

Q: If Shaun does get the job, how much confidence do you have in him?

A: Well, I have confidence in him. I have confidence in this football team. To me, it's still about the football team. So if Shaun is the guy, we're going to figure out, as coaches, we're going to try figure out the very best way we can beat the team that we're playing that week. However we have to do it, if it's running the ball 65 times or throwing it 65 times, it doesn't really matter. We have a good football team and that's what we're going to do.

Q: Do you draw on lessons you learned from your father the most right now?

A: Yeah, that's our job, find a way. No one is going to feel sorry for us, no one is going to cry. The Tennessee Titans or the Green Bay Packers, we can go down the schedule, no one is going to feel sorry for us if that's the case. So I'm not going to feel sorry for us either. I'm not going to let this team feel sorry for itself. We're going to grieve today and upset about it. It's more about our feelings for Teddy and him as a person and getting better than it is about anything else. Teddy's a great kid and he'll be back as soon as he possibly can if it is real bad. But we're going to keep fighting. We can talk all we want but we have guys in that locker room like Everson Griffen, Harrison Smith, Brian Robison, Anthony Barr, Kyle Rudolph, Adrian Peterson, Matt Kalil, Berger, (Brandon) Fusco and Andre Smith. I can go down the line and I'll take them with me into an alley anywhere.   

Q: Can you think of a situation you've been in that is similar to this?

A: I think each year is different. Each team is different. Think about the St. Louis Rams or the Baltimore Ravens or I believe it was the New England Patriots. There's other things to draw from.

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