The signing of Teddy Bridgewater changes the Detroit Lions backup quarterback situation, for the better. An injury to Jared Goff now doesn't feel like it would quite as catastrophic to a promising season, with the steadiness and experience of Bridgewater now in line to step in if that situation occurs.
Bridgewater is set to begin practicing with the Lions this coming week, and he'll presumably play a fair amount in the second preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars as he learns a new offense and new teammates.
Of course practice reps and preseason game action is not a zero-sum situation. When someone gains, someone else has to lose. So Bridgewater's arrival will negatively impact someone.
After Friday night's preseason opener, via The Detroit News, head coach Dan Campbell revealed who that someone will be.
"(Lions quarterback Adrian) Martinez is going to get a little bit less because Teddy needs to start getting some, so you’re looking at Nate and Teddy right now. Adrian is the one who’s probably going to have to take a little bit of a back seat and not get as many reps,” "
So under the veil that there is actually a competition between Bridgewater and Nate Sudfeld for the spot on the depth chart behind Goff, undrafted rookie Adrian Martinez will cede practice reps to Bridgewater.
Teddy Bridgewater should be costing Nate Sudfeld practice reps
Not coincidentally in line with the Lions rekindling their interest in Bridgewater, Sudfeld's performance in training camp has been lackluster. That came to a natural culmination in the preseason opener against the Giants, when he went 15-for-28 for 194 yards with two interceptions, multiple other less than ideal throws and a 45.8 passer rating.
Campbell was willing to excuse Sudfeld's first interception, due to his being hit as he threw and a miscommunication before the snap. Campbell also used his already overused "more positive than negative" refrain to describe Sudfeld's performance.
But even within the context of facing a defense orchestrated by a good defensive coordinator in "Wink" Martindale, Sudfeld did little to show he is a legit competitor for Bridgewater. Again within a veil, or more accurately with a facade, of there actually being a competition.
Not that Martinez will make the Lions' 53-man roster as a UDFA, and his solid showing against the Giants has to be kept in the proper context. But we know what Sudfeld is, and the only way he'll make the roster is if the Lions carry a third quarterback--and choose him to be that third signal caller.
With Bridgewater's arrival, Sudfeld is the man in danger--of losing the No. 2 quarterback job, his roster spot, his NFL future, etc. But the Lions are treating him like he has earned the right to "compete", when nothing since camp started has proved that.