Teddy Bridgewater made his first career NFL start on Sunday, and the Minnesota Vikings came away with a surprising 41-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons. According to Matt Asiata, Adrian Peterson still managed to help the team without being present.
Asiata, who is filling in for Peterson and scored three touchdowns against Atlanta, told 1500ESPN that Peterson sent a motivational text message to head coach Mike Zimmer before the game. Zimmer read it to the team.
“We felt him in spirit,” Asiata said. “He gave us a text, a motivational speech in a text, and we came out punching.”
Bridgewater agreed that the message was well received by the team.
“One thing that I took away from that message was: ‘Play each down like it’s your last because you never know when it’s going to be your last opportunity,'” the rookie said. “Today I think the guys got that message pretty well. We went out, we fought today and it was just a great overall team effort.”
The Vikings exploded on offense, setting season highs in rushing yards, points scored and total yardage without their best player. While the Falcons don’t exactly have a great defense, the way Bridgewater (317 passing yards) ran the offense was encouraging.
Meanwhile, Peterson has been away from the Vikings since Sept. 17 after he was placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List. Reports have indicated he is not in team’s future plans and his season is likely over.
H/T Eye on Football