The Minnesota Vikings held quarterback Teddy Bridgewater out of their second preseason game, in part to avoid any injury exposure. But they couldn’t keep him from suffering a significant and presumably season-ending knee injury in practice on Tuesday. The Vikings sent out an update a little after 7 p.m. central time, saying Bridgewater dislocated knee and a torn ACL “and other structural damage,” though he suffered no nerve or arterial damage. Here’s the update, from Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman:

“Teddy Bridgewater suffered a non-contact injury today at practice. The injury was quickly identified as a dislocated knee. The injury was stabilized, and he was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment and evaluation. After undergoing an MRI, it was determined that Teddy suffered a complete tear to his ACL and other structural damage. Fortunately, there appears to be no nerve or arterial damage. Surgical repair will be scheduled within the next few days. Although the recovery time will be significant, we expect Teddy to make a full recovery. I would like to thank all of the medical professionals and our athletic training staff for all of their help today. Teddy has already displayed the attitude needed to overcome this injury and attack his rehab.”

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said it was a non-contact injury. “It was a freaky deal,” Zimmer said. The way Zimmer spoke, it was obvious the team was preparing for Bridgewater’s injury to keep him out the entire season. Zimmer said he had spoken to Bridgewater’s mother “a couple times,” and also called coach Bill Parcells for advice. Zimmer said he and general manager Rick Spielman had already discussed the possibly acquiring a veteran quarterback. He spoke many times about how the team will overcome the injury, and mentioned examples of teams in the past who have lost their quarterback for the season.

Bridgewater was taken from the Vikings practice facility in an ambulance. Zimmer said Bridgewater was sedated at the hospital and was got an MRI. Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and other reporters at practice said Bridgewater grabbed his left knee and it was immobilized. Teammates “freaked out” and were swearing and praying, Murphy said, and practice stopped. The Vikings canceled the rest of practice, which is incredibly rare for a football team to do because of an injury.

“Today is a disappointing day,” Zimmer said. “The No. 1 thing is Teddy is such a great kid. Everybody loves him. They were disappointed and I didn’t think we were going to get much out of practice today.”

Veteran Shaun Hill is expected to be the starter in Bridgewater’s absence. When Bridgewater was held out against the Seattle Seahawks in Minnesota’s second preseason game, as a precaution over a reported sore shoulder, Hill got the start. Hill is 36 and didn’t play great in eight starts for the 2014 St. Louis Rams, but he has had flashes of being a competent NFL quarterback. And although Bridgewater is talented, the Vikings didn’t ask him to do much last season. The Vikings had the fewest passing attempts in the NFL last season. They want to run the ball often with Adrian Peterson and play great defense. Hill might be able to manage that.

It’s rare for a player to suffer a season-ending injury in practice, especially at the quarterback position. Hitting a quarterback is strictly off limits in almost every NFL practice. Bridgewater’s injury was mostly bad luck, it seems.

Bridgewater was a 2014 first-round pick and had some promising moments his first two seasons. His role in the offense was lessened last year because the team leaned on rushing champion Peterson, but he was still a big part of the Vikings winning the NFC North.

“Everybody can count us out, but I think that would be the wrong thing to do,” Zimmer said.

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