Bridgewater hospitalized overnight after head injury in loss

Dec 19, 2021, 1:31 AM | Updated: 7:41 pm
Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) warms up prior to an NFL football game against the...

Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

DENVER (AP) — Teddy Bridgewater was hospitalized overnight for evaluation of a head injury following a scary collision that appeared to knock him unconscious during the Denver Broncos’ 15-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

The Denver quarterback Bridgewater didn’t move until they rolled him over to place him on a body board and cart him off the field. He was immediately placed in an ambulance and taken to a hospital.

“They think he should be and will be fine eventually,” coach Vic Fangio said.

That was about the only good news for the Broncos (7-7), who saw their playoff hopes plummet despite holding Joe Burrow to 157 yards passing, bottling up Ja’Marr Chase (one catch for 3 yards) and Tee Higgins (two catches for 23 yards) and keeping running back Joe Mixon (58 yards) out of the end zone.

“We’re not out,” Fangio insisted after praising his team’s stellar defensive effort against a team that was averaging 27 points. “We’re just going to strap it up, have another good week of preparation and get ready for the next game” next week at Las Vegas.

There’s a decent chance backup Drew Lock will get that start, his first of 2021, after losing his starting job to Bridgewater in the offseason.

Lock has subbed for Lock three times this season and has two turnovers on goal-to-go situations, including Sunday when defensive end Khalid Kareem snatched the ball right out of his hands on second-and-goal from the 9 early in the fourth quarter.

Lock has completed 55% of his passes (22 for 40) for 227 yards, a touchdown, two interceptions, two fumbles, one of which he’s lost, and five sacks.

Bridgewater is completing 67.6% of his passes and he’s already thrown a career-best 18 touchdowns passes to go with just seven interceptions.

But he’s been banged up and hobbles through many a week of practice, having suffered two head injuries, a foot injury and a shin injury behind an often porous line that’s especially vulnerable in offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur’s heavy use of three-wide, spread formations.

It was on a scramble that Bridgewater got hurt Sunday.

With 5:34 left in the third quarter, Bridgewater scrambled to his right on second-and-5 from his 30-yard line and Bengals linebacker Joe Bachie came up and squatted as he was about to make the tackle.

They collided and Bridgewater went airborne, falling on his face just as he was hit again, in his left side, by defensive tackle B.J. Hill, whose hit seemed to accelerate Bridgewater’s faceplant into the ground.

Bridgewater lay motionless as Bachie rolled onto his back on his own several yards away as concerned players from both teams gathered on the field.

While Bachie was helped off with a leg injury and ruled out, the cart came out to take Bridgewater off the field.

The Broncos brought in Bridgewater for his leadership in big games like this, so losing their locker room leader was a big blow in a crucial moment.

“The first thing is obviously going to be praying for Teddy and him as a person and his health,” safety Justin Simmons said. “Moving forward whatever the case may be, we’re going to support Drew 100%. We’re going to support (No. 3 QB) Brett Rypien 100%. That’s what it’s going to have to be.

“We can win games, we can win games. It just stinks. You know how much Teddy puts into it. He’s such a big voice in our locker room. It hurts.”

Players from both teams milled around the field, some kneeling in prayer when they saw that Bridgewater didn’t get back up.

“That’s scary, man,” teammate Bradley Chubb said. “We saw it earlier in the week with (Chargers tight end) Donald Parham Jr. hitting his head and being out cold. We kind of saw Teddy laying there, and we wished for the best at the time and when we saw him move and turn his hands over a little bit, we knew he was OK.

“It’s still traumatizing. It’s still sad to see your leader and your quarterback go down like that, and we’re all behind him,” Chubb added. “At this point, football doesn’t matter. His health is what’s most important. I hope he’s doing everything he can to make sure his mind is right and that everything is OK with him because at the end of day, you don’t want to have a traumatic brain injury. I’m praying for Teddy.”

Broncos tight end Albert Okwuegbunam said it was difficult to refocus and play out the game.

“First of all, you never want to see a guy have that type of injury that bad, especially with Teddy being such a big leader on this team and having such a big influence,” Okwuegbunam said. “It was a really big blow. Everybody kind of just gathered around him, but regardless, I know Teddy’s going to be good. He’s going to be all right.”

It wasn’t just the Broncos who were rattled by Bridgewater’s injury.

“It’s impactful for everybody in the stadium,” Bengals coach Zaz Taylor said. “You never know what they response is going to be by anybody coming out of that. I’ve got all the respect in the world for Teddy Bridgewater. That guy has competed to the highest degree on every team he’s play for and on every snap. Just really have a lot of respect for him and how he plays the game, and I’m hopeful that things turn out for the best for him.”

___

More NFL news: AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

South Carolina's Tonka Hemingway (91) celebrates with Jakai Moore (55) after rushing for a 2-point ...
Associated Press

South Carolina tops SC State 50-10 in game moved for Ian

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Spencer Rattler threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score in South Carolina’s 50-10 victory over South Carolina State in a game moved from Saturday to Thursday night because of Hurricane Ian. Rattler finished with 212 yards, completing 21 of 27 passes including a 5-yard scoring strike to tailback MarShawn […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

2 rock climbers found dead in Southern California

IDYLLWILD, Calif. (AP) — Two rock climbers were found dead near a Southern California peak after rescue crews responded to reports of injuries, authorities said. Rescuers were called around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday to Tahquitz Rock near Idyllwild following a distress call, the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department said on Twitter. A team managed to climb […]
21 hours ago
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is examined during the first half of the team's NFL footb...
Associated Press

Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa stretchered off with head injury

CINCINNATI (AP) — Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sustained neck and head injuries after being slammed to the ground in Thursday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals and was stretchered from the field. The Dolphins said Tagovailoa was conscious, had movement in all his extremities and was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center for further […]
21 hours ago
Cleveland Guardians' Will Brennan celebrates after scoring on a double by Steven Kwan during the ei...
Associated Press

Rays miss chance to clinch, lose 2-1 as Guardians rally late

CLEVELAND (AP) — Small plastic strips dangled from the ceiling in Tampa Bay’s clubhouse, which had been cleared of furniture and prepped over the final innings for what was supposed to be wild, wet celebration. The Guardians had other plans. “We don’t want people celebrating in our house, right?” Cleveland starter Cal Quantrill said. Rookies […]
21 hours ago
Xiyu Lin, of China, reacts after missing a putt on the 17th green during the final round of the LPG...
Associated Press

Xiyu Lin makes late eagle to take LPGA lead in Texas

THE COLONY, Texas (AP) — Xiyu Lin of China made a 10-foot eagle putt on the par-5 17th hole Thursday that sent her to a 6-under 65 and a one-shot lead in The Ascendant LPGA. The late eagle from Lin, twice a runner-up on the LPGA Tour this season, took attention away from Atthaya Thitikul […]
21 hours ago
Davis Riley hits onto the 18th green during the first round of the Sanderson Farms Championship gol...
Associated Press

Riley with 66 shares lead at Sanderson Farms in home state

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Davis Riley got off to a hot start and kept bogeys off his card to the end for a 6-under 66 and a share of the lead Thursday with Will Gordon in the Sanderson Farms Championship, the PGA Tour event he considers his fifth major. Riley grew up about 90 miles […]
21 hours ago
Bridgewater hospitalized overnight after head injury in loss