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Teddy Bridgewater remembers some of his teammates crying. They were on their knees and praying. For him. The New York Jets quarterback was with the Minnesota Vikings in 2016 when he went down in a heap of agonizing pain. Bridgewater had twisted his left knee badly on a non-contact play patrick mahomes stitched jersey , and the severity of the injury was only beginning to surface. Bridgewater knew from the looks of his teammates’ faces that the situation was dire. And somehow, he stayed calm. ”As gruesome as it may have seemed, I feel like I did a great job of remaining poised,” Bridgewater recalled Tuesday as the Jets opened their three-day minicamp. Coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance, Bridgewater had torn the anterior cruciate ligament and had other structural damage, including a dislocated knee joint. ”There were guys throwing helmets, guys on knees and I didn’t cry and I didn’t worry,” Bridgewater said. ”I just knew that it was in God’s hands. I think I was impressed with the way I kept my faith, but I got to see how much I meant to the guys – not only as a football player, but also as a person. It could’ve went totally south.” His career was in jeopardy, and at one point, saving his mangled left leg was the only thing that mattered. ”It was scary,” Bridgewater said while managing a smile. ”But at the end of the day, I was still breathing. That was my biggest takeaway from it. … When there’s someone out there whose situation is worse than yours, that’s the first thing that came into my mind. Like, `Man, I don’t know what just happened Davante Adams Jersey , but I know there’s someone out there who’s going through something worse than I am, so I just have to keep my faith and believe that everything’s going to be all right.'” Bridgewater gets his perseverance and never-quit attitude from his mother, Rose Murphy, who raised him and his three siblings in the Miami area. She’s a breast cancer survivor who has been in remission for several years, something that is a source of pride for Bridgewater. He also counts her as his biggest supporter. ”She was a fighter, so I witnessed her fight with her battle with breast cancer,” Bridgewater said. ”I took away those traits and attitude. Whenever she was down – well, she was never really down because she would always say, `There’s someone out there whose situation is way worse than mine, so I can’t be down, plus the cancer feeds off negativity, so I have to be positive.’ ”So that’s why I feel like I’m just this positive guy. Watching her continue to smile and stay upbeat throughout her toughest times in life had a huge impact on me.” Bridgewater has needed every bit of that positivity during the last two years of often grueling rehabilitation. Now 25, the former Louisville star is still a youngster in NFL years. But the injury was enough to make some teams wary of giving him a chance after the Vikings allowed him to become a free agent during the offseason. The Jets, looking for quarterback depth, signed him for $500,000 in March and drafted Sam Darnold with the No. 3 overall pick a month later. Josh McCown, who turns 39 on July 4 Victor Hedman Jersey , remains the favorite to win the starting job, but Bridgewater could have as much of a shot at winning the three-man competition as anyone – especially if he continues progressing. He won’t discuss details of his health or his status, other than saying he’s getting better every day. ”To be able to just stand here right now, I’m thankful for the guys who supported me through the injury,” Bridgewater said, ”and the guys still there today.” He’s wearing a brace around the left knee, which is covered by a sleeve. But he doesn’t appear to be hampered by any of it. Bridgewater has thrown some of the prettiest passes in the practice sessions open to the media, including several throws on the run. ”Having not been injured like that, I can’t even relate to someone being injured like that,” coach Todd Bowles said. ”But just knowing Teddy’s personality and the drive he has, it doesn’t surprise me.” There were plenty of people who doubted he’d get to this point. Bridgewater isn’t here to prove them wrong. ”Not at all,” he insisted. ”I do it for the ones who believed in me because that small ounce of faith and belief got me over the hump.” Bridgewater made it back onto the field late last season for a few plays, but the moment he knew the comeback was on track happened when he rejoined his teammates on the Vikings sideline again – in full uniform – in November. It was then that he allowed his emotions get to him. Finally. ”This game means a lot to me,” Bridgewater said. ”I’ve been playing football since I was 5 years old, and it brought tears to my eyes because it showed me that you’re never out of it. You’re never out of the fight. There were dark days throughout my rehab process, so when you’re rehabbing, the light seems so far at the end of the tunnel. But to be able to see that light Jamie Benn Jersey , and make it to the light – which is being active and standing on that sideline with my gear on – it kind of hit me a little. ”I joked around with my agent, my adviser, told them, `Man, I’m a tough guy. I won’t cry.’ But reality set in. It was truly a blessing to be back out there and, you know, continue to live your dream.” — With neither the Detroit Red Wings nor the Buffalo Sabres playing postseason hockey next month, both teams are focusing on younger players who can help them down the road. A pair of teams looking to post rare back-to-back wins square off when the Red Wings visit the league-worst Sabres on Thursday night. Detroit (28-38-11) won for only the second time in 15 games after stunning the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 on Tuesday. Perhaps the happiest player on the Red Wings was undrafted defenseman Joe Hicketts as he collected two assists for his first NHL points in only his second career game. “I thought as the game went on, I got better and that’s all I want to do,” said Hicketts, who at 5-foot-8 clearly doesn’t have the size of a prototypical blueliner. “Second period, I kind of knew what I wanted to do. … In the third, I thought I really brought what I wanted to bring.” Niklas Kronwall, playing in his 869th game — all with the Red Wings — picked up his 400th career point and praised the young player from British Columbia. “His energy is contagious, and I think that speaks for his character and the person that he is,” the 37-year-old Swede said. Hicketts could be part of the next Red Wings core of young stars that includes center Dylan Larkin (team-high 56 points), and wingers Anthony Mantha (top goal scorer with 23) and Andreas Athanasiou (31 points). Detroit Tomas Hertl Jersey , which has lost two of three to Buffalo this season including a 1-0 setback Oct. 24 in Western New York, is out of the playoffs in consecutive campaigns for the first time since 1982 and 1983. “We’ve worked extremely hard, we’ve competed hard, we’ve actually played good hockey and haven’t won, and that’s been tough,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. Detroit is in position to win two straight for the first time since Feb. 24 and Feb. 25, and there may not be a better opponent to do that against than Buffalo (24-40-12) which is likely headed to a last-place finish in the Atlantic Division for the fourth time in five seasons. The Sabres snapped a four-game slide Monday with a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs behind two goals from Jack Eichel. The second overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft leads Buffalo with 24 goals and 56 points. Eichel, who missed 15 games earlier this season with an ankle injury, needs two points to set a career high and three assists for 100 in his career. Thursday’s game will mark the Sabres debut of center Casey Mittelstadt, who was selected eighth overall in last summer’s NHL Draft, and had 30 points (11 goals, 19 assists) in 34 games with the University of Minnesota this season. “I’m going to try to approach it like any other game I’ve played,” Mittelstadt told the Buffalo News. “…That’s why I’m here. I’m here to learn, and I’m here to get ready for next season.” Buffalo will be looking for Mittelstadt to make an immediate impact. The Sabres have been outscored 11-1 in a three-game losing streak at KeyBank Center. Robin Lehner is 2-1-0 with a 1.63 goals-against average and .951 save percentage for Buffalo versus Detroit this season. However, the eight-year veteran has surrendered eight goals over his last two starts. The Red Wings’ Jimmy Howard has lost six straight road starts while posting a 3.60 GAA. He is 3-1-1 with a 1.43 GAA all-time in Buffalo. Backup Jared Coreau is 0-7-2 with a 4.57 GAA in 11 starts since blanking the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 16, 2017. He’s never faced the Sabres. Youth San Francisco 49ers Jerseys
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