Teddy Bridgewater Can Still Lead the Miami Dolphins to the Playoffs — If He Turns Back the Clock

The Dolphins won't have Tua Tagovailoa Sunday when they face the Patriots. The good news is they have Teddy Bridgewater as their Plan B.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Time is a flat circle for Teddy Bridgewater.

Critical late-season games. Crappy weather. Road showdowns against division rivals.

Bridgewater has been there, done that — seven years ago, to be exact. So the moment should not be too big for him this weekend when Bridgewater fills in for a concussed Tua Tagovailoa in a pivotal game against the New England Patriots.

Teddy Bridgewater’s Moment Is Here

The Miami Dolphins signed Bridgewater for this very scenario — a Plan B quarterback who can deliver late-season wins that will get them back into the playoffs.

It doesn’t matter that the Dolphins are a team in crisis, having lost their starting quarterback and a fourth straight game on the same day. Their destiny is still within their control. Win out and they’re in.

If Bridgewater plays like Mike McDaniel believes he can, the Dolphins will make the playoffs. The Dolphins offense is almost quarterback-proof.

They just need to make plays. If they do, there’s a way they can clinch the seven seed as soon as this weekend. If they beat the Patriots and the Jets lose to the Seahawks, they’re in.

MORE: Tua Tagovailoa Concussion Update

“I’m excited man,” Bridgewater said. “Football still means something to the guys in this locker room and the guys that’s going out there Sunday. So for the guys that’s giving it their all man, it means a lot. I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”

Sunday will be Bridgewater’s fifth appearance with the Dolphins, but just his second start. In that start, he lasted all of one play, as a booth spotter had concerns about how Bridgewater reacted to a hit on that first play.

His stats this year are pedestrian — 61.7% completions, three touchdowns, three picks, and an 85.6 passer rating — but he hasn’t had a game yet go normally for him.

Bridgewater will get all the reps in practice this week and, assuming his health holds, should get a chance to start and finish a game for the first time since 2021. Bridgewater has shown an ability to push the ball downfield in his limited snaps with the Dolphins, and his 8.7 yards per attempt average reflects that.

“Remember my comment from earlier when I said I could put up numbers with anybody?” said receiver Tyreek Hill. “That comment still stands. All of the guys got chemistry with Teddy. He brings that veteran presence that we all need, I even need sometimes.

“Just to have a guy in the huddle giving me confidence, giving me confidence. Just having Teddy is going to be fun.”

Teddy Bridgewater Has Been Here Before

Fun? TBD. But it’ll certainly be a throwback.

Bridgewater is in basically the exact situation as he was seven years ago when the Vikings could clinch the NFC North by winning their final two games. They did just that, including a Week 17 win over the Packers in frigid Green Bay.

That was before Bridgewater’s catastrophic, career-altering knee injury. Bridgewater suffered a torn ACL, dislocated knee joint, and additional structural damage around his left knee in a non-contact drill during practice in 2016.

MORE: NFL Playoff Picture Week 17

He would appear in just 15 games over the next four seasons and wouldn’t become a full-time starter again until 2020. Things didn’t go great for him in Carolina or Denver the last two seasons, but his pain was the Dolphins’ gain.

They were able to sign a competent NFL quarterback for backup money.

And now, with Tagovailoa out indefinitely, Bridgewater’s career has come full circle.

“It’s very wild, man,” Bridgewater said. “And you just gotta respect the game. You respect the game, the game rewards you. I had a good talk this morning with my good friend Steve and Ray. Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles and they could see what’s going on.”

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