Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater sustained a shin injury during Sunday's upset victory over the Los Angeles Chargers that, head coach Vic Fangio explained, increased in severity as the game wore on.
"I don’t have all the particulars but if you guys have ever had a shin injury it swells up real quick—which his did," Fangio said in his post-game press conference. "They had him take some tests to make sure nothing was happening underneath it and he toughed it out. He was nowhere near 100 percent in that second half, but he toughed it out and lead the offense."
Bridgewater was injured late in the first half of the 28-13 conquest, leveled on a blindside hit from unblocked Chargers safety Derwin James. Bridgewater limped off to the sideline and was replaced by backup QB Drew Lock, who fumbled his second snap and tossed a bad interception on his second series, the latter error leading to a Los Angeles touchdown.
Bridgewater returned for the opening series of the second half — Fangio claims Lock's errant pick did not influence his decision — and finished the afternoon under center. The veteran signal-caller completed 11-of-18 passes for 129 yards and one touchdown, a fourth-quarter strike to tight end Eric Saubert that extended a Denver lead it wouldn't relinquish.
"Teddy is tough. This is unquestioned when you talk about him and I didn’t question it in the big picture," Fangio said. "Some of you have asked me—he’s our quarterback. It’s as simple as that.”
Bridgewater has been battered and bruised this season behind the Broncos' ever-changing offensive line, which on Sunday lost second-string left tackle Calvin Anderson to a potentially severe knee injury. The line also saw left guard Dalton Risner depart with a shoulder ailment while right tackle Cam Fleming started in place of the inactive Bobby Massie (ankle).
Despite its ravaged roster, the Broncos pulled off a massive win that sets up a battle for first place in the AFC West next Sunday night against the Kansas City Chiefs.
And there's no painkiller quite like it.
“When you win, it doesn’t really matter what you’re going through," Bridgewater said. "You feel good. I feel good right now."
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