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Around the NFL: Bridge over troubled water

Bridgewater tears ACL: The Minnesota Vikings will be without their blossoming young quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, for the entire 2016 season, and possibly beyond, after he tore his ACL during a non-contact drill Tuesday.

In addition to a torn ACL, the 23-year-old also suffered a dislocated knee. An MRI revealed no nerve damage, so Bridewater will be fine long term and should make a full recovery in due time.

"Teddy suffered a complete tear to his ACL and other structural damage," the Vikings said in a statement Tuesday evening. "Fortunately, there appears to be no nerve or arterial damage.

"Although the recovery time will be significant, we expect Teddy to make a full recovery. I would like to thank all of the medical professionals and our athletic training staff for all of their help today. Teddy has already displayed the attitude needed to overcome this injury and attack his rehab."

According to ESPN, Bridgewater dropped back during a passing drill, planted his foot to throw and immediately went down, grabbing his left leg in pain. His teammates knew something was seriously wrong, as many of them quickly dropped to a knee in prayer.

While the Vikings will be without their quarterback who led them to the NFC North title in 2015, head coach Mike Zimmer is confident that his team can defend their division title.

"We're not going to stick our heads in the sand, tuck our tail between our legs," Zimmer told reporters. "We're not going to make excuses. Everybody can count us out but I think that'd be the wrong thing to do."

In Bridgewater's absence, 36-year-old veteran Shaun Hill will steer the reins for the offense.

"I have confidence in Shaun," Zimmer said. "I think he's played great this preseason. He's been in two-minute drills. He's done a phenomenal job."

The team also has third stringer Joel Stave, and NFL Insider Ian Rapoport has reported that they are re-signing the recently waived Brad Sorensen as a safety blanket. 

The Vikings and Bridgewater were poised for a big 2016 following their strong 11-5 showing in 2015. Bridgewater especially looked sharp in his final tune up before the regular season, completing 12-of-16 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown in the team's third preseason game.

"We're gonna grieve today and be upset about it," Zimmer said. "It's more about our feelings for Teddy and for 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."

Kruger signs with Saints after release: Just two days after being released by the Cleveland Browns, veteran pass rusher Paul Kruger found a job with the New Orleans Saints Tuesday. The terms of the deal have not been released.

The Saints were in desperate need of a pass rusher after losing 24-year-old Hau' oli Kikaha to a knee injury during training camp. Kruger was on the team's radar back in 2013, but they were outbid by the Browns, who signed Kruger to a whopping five-year, $40.5 million deal.

The Browns, who are in the midst of a rebuilding phase, cut Kruger with the notion that he would not be a full-time starter under their new coaching staff.

"My experience has been amazing and I will miss wearing a Browns #99," Kruger wrote after his release. "Although completely miss handled, unfortunate and absolutely the wrong decision to release me I do wish the Browns and especially my teammate brothers great success."

Kruger will play defensive end in the Saints' 4-3 scheme. The team is hopeful that he helps establish a pass rush that has been absent from their defense in quite some time.

"He still affects the passer. You see a pressure player. He rushes with power," Saints head coach Sean Payton said. "I think you see a high motor and a guy that plays extremely strong."

Bosa finally joins teammates on the field: After finally agreeing on a four-year deal Monday, San Diego Chargers first round pick Joey Bosa ended a long hiatus and joined his teammates on the field Tuesday.

His fellow defensive lineman welcomed him back with open arms despite Bosa being absent all throughout training camp due to a contract stalemate between him and the Chargers. The 21-year-old noted that there is no "bad blood" between him and his teammates.

"It means a lot that they're all welcoming me back with open arms like that," Bosa said. "They all understand the business of the NFL and why I wasn't here. So there's no bad blood between any one of us, and they're just excited to have me out here, and I'm excited to be out here."

Bosa said he thinks he'll be ready to play in the team's Sept. 11 season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. However, it'll be up to head coach Mike McCoy and the rest of the coaching staff to determine whether or not the former Ohio State product will be ready. The team has just one more padded practice before the season opener, so time's of the essence for Bosa.

"He looked as we expected," McCoy said of Bosa. "He was in shape and ready to roll. He looked the way he did when he left."


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