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A Reminder That Football Players Sometimes Play Hurt Because They Really, Really Want To

A nice moment for Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater and one of his coaches.

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Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

It's a common villain in fictional versions of football: the cruel coach who forces a kid to play hurt against his better judgment. And in real life, there is a lot of discussion in college football about the dangers of playing while concussed, and more broadly about what many observers see as the exploitation of young athletes by a money-hungry system.

But sometimes, also, there's just stuff like this. Coming into last season's the Big East Championship game, Louisville Cardinals star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had a broken wrist and a sprained ankle. Unable to take a snap from under center, and having sat out all of the previous week's practices, the star quarterback started the game on the bench.

But after finding themselves down 14-3 at halftime, Louisville turned to the man that done brought them to the dance, and Bridgewater came off the bench to throw two second half touchdown passes to give his team a 20-17 victory against Rutgers. The gutsy performance gave the Cardinals the Big East Championship, and with it, a berth in a big-time bowl game against Florida, which the underdog Cardinals dominated.

Bridgewater finished the game with 263 yards and two touchdowns, completing 20 of 28 passes. A video went around last night of what happened after the game when offensive coordinator Shawn Watson met up with the quarterback before they headed to the locker room. (Watson is the one speaking.)

Watch the video below:

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