EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — There are 12 categories on a uniform NFL stat sheet for quarterbacks.
Items like Att for attempts, Cmp for completions, Yds for yards, TD for passing scores, Int for interceptions, generally provide a quantitative assessment of QB performance but there's not an Hht for hurt his team (interception and interception percentage are the closest in similarity).
If there were a more qualitative category, Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said Teddy Bridgewater wouldn't be filling it up frequently.
Bridgewater has improved to 13-8 as a starter during the Vikings five-game winning streak and is getting set for an attempt by Minnesota (7-2) to defend first place in the NFC North against Green Bay (6-3) on Sunday.
"I guess one of the best statistics is that he doesn't hurt his team ever," Zimmer said. "Very rarely does he hurt his team. Most of the time, he's helping his team in a lot of ways that don't show up in number of yards. We always said we wanted to be a team that runs the football well, plays good defense, plays good special teams; we kind of do that a little bit. But I think when games get on the line – and this may be a game; I don't know, he may have to do some things."
Bridgewater was asked Wednesday about the balance between aggressiveness and minimizing mistakes.
"It's about having the understanding, for instance, if you're on the red zone fringe, 35-yard line, we know that Blair [Walsh] is capable of hitting 50 yard field goals," Bridgewater said. "For me, I know that try to avoid a sack to make the field goal easier for him. Coach Zimmer is big on field position, whether it's avoiding a sack, throwing the ball away so we can punt the ball to pin our opponents down, keep their back against their end zone. Just things like that, having an understanding of field position, having an understanding of what Blair is capable of doing and [punter] Jeff [Locke]."
The follow-up question asked if being a "game manager" is a bad thing.
"Coach Zimmer doesn't like the word game manager," Bridgewater said. "He says I'm a playmaker. Hearing that from him, that just speaks volumes."
Naturally that response led to another follow-up for Zimmer, who said "I don't think that's what he is."
"I don't know what a game manager is really," Zimmer said, "but I think Teddy has got an extremely bright future, I think he's a heck of a quarterback and I'm glad he's mine."
It seems that game manager is a phrase used to describe a quarterback whose fantasy stats are blowing up smart phones on Sundays, one who might be part of a team that runs the football well (Vikings lead the league with 147.2 yards per game) and also plays defense well (Vikings are second in the NFL with 17.1 points allowed per game).
One, however, doesn't "game manage" their way back from a seven-point deficit in the final five minutes at Soldier Field the way Bridgewater led the Vikings to the comeback victory with key throws to and catches from Stefon Diggs and Charles Johnson.
Stat change:Don't tell Linval Joseph, but it turns out that he will not receive credit for a sack of Derek Carr in Sunday's game when the big-bodied defensive tackle smashed the Raiders QB. Officials have reviewed the play and determined that Carr was already down from contact by Vikings rookie Danielle Hunter, who will now have 2.5 sacks, while Joseph is dropped back to 0.5.
Joking aside, Joseph and Hunter care most that the Vikings came back from the West Coast with a W.
Injury reports: There are 11 Vikings and 14 Packers listed on the initial injury report this week.
For the Vikings: Matt Kalil (toe), did not participate Wednesday. Tom Johnson (concussion), Matt Asiata (quadriceps), Adrian Peterson (hamstring), Sharrif Floyd (knee/ankle) and Anthony Barr (hand/knee) were limited. Adam Thielen (shoulder), Marcus Sherels (shoulder), Justin Trattou (foot), Bridgewater (left shoulder) and Eric Kendricks (ribs) fully participated. Zimmer said Kendricks was "kind of close" to being able to play in Oakland.
For the Packers: WR Jared Abbrederis (rib/chest), T Bryan Bulaga (knee) and G T.J. Lang (shoulder) did not participate. T David Bakhtiari (knee), DB Micah Hyde (hip), LB Clay Matthews (ankle/knee), QB Aaron Rodgers (right shoulder) and G Josh Sitton (knee) were limited. S Morgan Burnett (ankle), WR James Jones (quadriceps), RB Eddie Lacy (groin), WR Ty Montgomery (ankle), LB Mike Neal (hip) and LB Nick Perry (shoulder/hand) fully participated.