Bridgewater shows ‘toughness’ in Broncos victory

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DENVER – When the Denver Broncos quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, limped back into the itch Sunday with an injury to his lower right leg, he helped the Broncos stay in the AFC’s mixed playoffs.

So much so that the Broncos, now 6-5 after a 28-14 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers at Empower Field at Mile High, must face the Kansas City Chiefs next Sunday night at Arrowhead Stadium with a chance to move into first place in the AFC West .

“When you win, it doesn’t matter what you go through, you feel good,” Bridgewater said. “… We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.”

“Teddy’s toughness is undisputed when you talk about him, and I did not question that in the big picture,” said Broncos coach Vic Fangio. and it’s as simple as that. ”

Bridgewater will be evaluated more Monday morning.

Bridgewater, who had come under criticism after the Broncos’ loss to Philadelphia on November 14 when he failed to tackle Eagles cornerback Darius Slay on a fumble return for a touchdown, completed 11-of-18 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown Sunday . But it wasn’t the rather pedestrian-like numbers that continue to love Bridgewater for his teammates, it’s what they see as his burning desire to help them win.

After the loss to the Eagles, Bridgewater’s teammates strongly supported him, as did Fangio, as many cited Bridgewater’s serious leg injury in 2016 – Bridgewater’s surgeon later publicly said the injury was so serious amputation was a concern – as proof of his toughness to return to play. .

Bridgewater sustained the injury Sunday when he was fired by Chargers’ safety Derwin James Jr. with 2 minutes and 13 seconds left of the first quarter. Bridgewater limped to the sideline, was examined by the team’s medical staff and taken for x-rays.

“[It] ‘swells up very fast … he had to take some tests to make sure nothing happened under it,’ ‘Fangio said. “… he hardened it out, he was not near 100 percent in the second half, but he hardened it out and led the attack. ”

“I still do not really know what happened, I just know that Derwin somehow got me from behind,” Bridgewater said. “… I want to see it [Monday]. ”

Drew Lock ended the first half as the Broncos finished the drive. Bridgewater was injured with a touchdown eight games later. But Lock was fired once, throwing an interception in his limited duty that led to the Chargers’ first touchdown.

Asked if it would have made it easier to leave Lock in the game and play it safe at Bridgewater if Lock had not thrown the interception into double coverage, Fangio simply said “no.”

Bridgewater returned in the second half and eventually led the Broncos on a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that gave Denver a 21-7 lead with 8:54 left in the game. He converted two important third-downs on the drive – a third-and-7 to go with a third-and-10 – with finishes for wide receiver Courtland Sutton and running back Javonte Williams, respectively.

Bridgewater did so in a match as the Broncos also lost two more starters in the offensive line – left tackle Calvin Anderson (left knee) and left guard Dalton Risner (back) leaving the match with injuries. Anderson already played in place of Garett Bolles, who is on the COVID-19 reserve list.

At the end of the match, Lloyd Cushenberry III was the only starter in Week 1 of the offensive line in the lineup.

“We never ask questions [Bridgewater’s] toughness, “tight-end Eric Saubert said of Bridgewater.” The guy he does it all, he pushes a lot through, and he’s done it all season. “

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