Brian Fluharty / USA TODAY Sports
The Lions spent a third-round draft pick on quarterback Hendon Hooker this year, but the Tennessee product is expected to be sidelined into the fall while recovering from a college ACL tear. In the meantime, Detroit is keeping tabs on added insurance under center, hosting veteran free agent Teddy Bridgewater for a visit Monday, as coach Dan Campbell confirmed to reporters.
“You just want to know that you are in the best hands possible,” Campbell said of the Lions’ interest in Bridgewater, per The Detroit News. “It’s also the competition. It doesn’t mean that (current backup) Nate (Sudfeld) is out of anything if we go this route and it works out. You’ll feel good about whoever comes out of the fire … to help you along the way.”
Though Jared Goff is entrenched as the Lions’ starter, Sudfeld is the only other QB with NFL experience on the roster. Hooker opened training camp on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list, which would require him to miss the first eight games of the season if he remains there after final roster cuts. And third-string competition Adrian Martinez is an undrafted rookie.
Bridgewater, meanwhile, is arguably the top veteran QB still on the market. The former first-rounder has 65 career starts, most recently serving as a backup and short-term starter with the Dolphins, Broncos and Panthers. He received a “strong offer” from the Lions this April, per ESPN, perhaps in part due to his connection with Campbell. After a three-year run with the Vikings, Bridgewater spent two seasons as Drew Brees’ backup with the Saints, where Campbell had been working as assistant head coach.
“We’ve kept in touch with Teddy and we’ve kept Nate abreast of that, too,” Campbell said this week. “(Monday’s visit) gave us a chance to sit down with him face-to-face, particularly (offensive coordinator) Ben (Johnson), Bru (QBs coach Mark Brunell) and (general manager) Brad (Holmes). It gets me face-to-face with him again. Then just the medical (evaluation). So it was good. It was a good visit. We’ll see where it goes.”
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