Back-up quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will start for the New Orleans Saints against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday in place of star Drew Brees .
“Just knowing that you can take that field from the start of the game, you just get the chills thinking about it. Because it’s been so long,” Bridgewater said.
The Saints (13-2), who won the National Football Conference (NFC) South Division, decided to rest some starters since they already secured the conference’s No. 1 playoff seed.
“All the time that you put in, all the sacrifices you made to get to this point ... it’s great to see the opportunity present itself. I’m very grateful for it, appreciative of it, and I just can’t wait,” Bridgewater said.
The 26-year-old quarterback, who was taken by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 2014 National Football League (NFL) draft out of the University of Louisville, suffered a serious knee injury in the summer of 2016.
The Saints acquired Bridgewater from the New York Jets for a third-round pick after the 2018 preseason to back up Brees, who is having a phenomenal season and has many predicting the Saints will win the Super Bowl.
“Whatever happens Sunday I’ll be excited, just thinking about the road I’ve had to take to just get to this point,” Bridgewater said.
Sunday’s game against the Panthers will provide an opportunity for Bridgewater, who will be a free agent after this season, to showcase his skills and improve his value in the eyes of teams looking for a starting quarterback.
“I just have to stay within my character,” Bridgewater said. “I don’t have to do anything spectacular - or I don’t have to have an ‘S’ on my chest or a cape on my back. I just have to go out there, play with confidence, continue to believe in myself, believe in my guys and the rest will take care of itself.”