For two seasons, the Detroit Lions made as minimal an investment as they could in who was Jared Goff's backup. For much of last offseason, general manager Brad Holmes' words about upgrading the situation were empty.
The Lions reportedly made Teddy Bridgewater a strong contract offer in early April. Seemingly trying to hold out for more money or a shot at a starting job somewhere, the former first-round pick remained available all the way to training camp.
The Lions had Bridgewater in for a visit on July 24, and they signed him to a one-year deal worth up to $5 million ($2.5 million guaranteed) in early August.
Seemingly every week this season, an NFL starting quarterback goes down to an injury. According to Pro Football Talk, just five of 32 starters have made it to this point in the season by all appearances healthy. As in never on the injury report, missed games or not. Lions' quarterback Jared Goff is one of those five, but a hidden injury became a legit question recently.
Lions' investment in Teddy Bridgewater looking better all the time
Whatever his flaws/lack of upside is, Bridgewater has 65 NFL starts on his resume. A fair chunk of teams who have lost their starting quarterback to a season-ending injury this season, and even some teams who haven't, would be glad to have him as their No. 2. Goff has been incredibly durable in his career, but the Lions are well-protected should he suffer a major injury at any point from here on out.
This past week, via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, quarterbacks coach Mark Brunell mentioned the comfort in knowing the Lions have a capable option behind Goff.
"I think if you asked coach (Dan) Campbell this question, he'd say, 'That's why Teddy's here,'" Brunell said. "He is a proven winner. He has proven he can come off the bench and win five games in a row for you, if necessary. He did that in New Orleans. He's very smart, very talented, and for a very, very old man, he can still play quarterback at a high level, no question."
Brunell, who played 17 years in the NFL, joked about Bridgewater's age (31 last month). But the broad point stands. If the Lions have to go to their backup quarterback, a good season is not likely to go off the rails with Bridgewater at the helm of the offense.
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