The Minnesota Vikings quarterback used a unique tactic during his injury rehab to help himself understand the team’s new offensive scheme better.
It will be quite the scene this Sunday when Teddy Bridgewater takes the field in a Minnesota Vikings uniform for the first time since the 2016 preseason. The quarterback was recently added to the team’s active roster and will backup Case Keenum during the Vikings’ upcoming Week 10 matchup with the Washington Redskins.
Aside from the excitement surrounding Bridgewater’s return to the active roster, there are still some who have their doubts regarding how well he will be able to play if he ends up getting put into a game. Since the quarterback last played in an actual game, Minnesota has promoted Pat Shurmer to offensive coordinator and the team has a different scheme on offense than it did under Norv Turner during Bridgewater’s first two seasons with the Vikings.
However, as he spoke to members of the local Minnesota media on Thursday, the quarterback possibly quieted some of his doubters when he shared that he has used the team’s virtual reality system to stay up to date with the offense during his injury rehab. “I would definitely steal (practice) reps with the virtual reality that we do around here, especially when I wasn’t practicing. I would go in and watch Wednesday’s practice, Thursday’s practice, and Friday’s practice and steal those virtual reps and it helped.”
Bridgewater also mentioned that he was able to do this by use of a virtual reality headset that a number of other NFL teams allow their players to use.
The Vikings began letting their players use virtual reality devices provided by STRIVR Labs back in 2015 after general manager Rick Spielman floated the idea to head coach Mike Zimmer. When Minnesota first revealed that they were adopting this new tactic, Zimmer talked about how it gives players the ability to get extra reps without having to be on the practice field.
So despite not being able to physically be on the field and working with the team for multiple months while recovering from his knee injury, Bridgewater still found a way to keep up with everything that Shurmur was implementing into the offense. Something that should help the quarterback surprise a few of his doubters once he eventually plays in a game for the Vikings this season.