The New Orleans Saints have clinched the top seed in the NFC for the playoffs, so Teddy Bridgewater will start at quarterback against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday to save Drew Brees for the playoffs, head coach Sean Payton announced on Friday.
Bridgewater's last start came for the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild Card round of the playoffs after the 2015 season, and he drove the Vikings into position for a game-winning field goal attempt that Blair Walsh missed.
The next summer, Bridgewater sustained a severe knee injury and missed the entire season before returning as a backup to Case Keenum in 2017.
Bridgewater made one relief appearance for the Vikings last season, then signed with the New York Jets as a free agent and landed in New Orleans in a trade before the start of this season.
In four games this season, he has thrown one pass, which fell incomplete, and last season with the Vikings he was 0-for-2 passing with an interception.
"I never turned it off," Bridgewater told Nick Underhill of The Advocate. "Being in the position that I'm in you always have to stay ready. That's been my mindset since I arrived here. Approach each day with the same mindset that your opportunity can come within a blink of an eye."
Brees told reporters earlier in the week that he expected Bridgewater to see plenty of playing time against the Panthers.