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Vikings’ Bridgewater out for season with knee injury

Plus: U of M sues drug company for patent infringement; Twin Cities on pace for wettest year ever; South St. Paul teacher found dead in Washington was under investigation for having sexual contact with underage boys; and more.  

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Is Tim Tebow still available? Chris Tomasson’s PiPress story on Teddy Bridgewater says, “Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a dislocated knee and a torn anterior cruciate ligament during practice Tuesday, an injury that will require season-ending surgery. Athletic trainer Eric Sugarman said in a statement Tuesday night that Bridgewater ‘suffered a complete tear to his ACL and other structural damage’ to his left knee. He said ‘recovery time will be significant’. … The third-year man went down without being touched after dropping back and grabbed his left knee. … ‘I watched it on tape,’ said Vikings coach Mike Zimmer. ‘It was a non-contact thing it looked like to me. Just a freaky deal.’’’

In The Washington Post Mark Maske writes, “The prospects for the Minnesota Vikings to be a top NFC contender dimmed considerably Tuesday when Teddy Bridgewater suffered a devastating knee injury that left his teammates shaken and ends the third-year quarterback’s season before it began. … Bridgewater became the second starting quarterback league-wide to suffer a significant injury within the past week. The Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo is to be sidelined an estimated six to 10 weeks after suffering a broken bone in his back during a preseason game at Seattle last week. But the Vikings, unlike the Cowboys, do not have a rookie who dazzled during the preseason to take over. Dallas can hope that Dak Prescott becomes a standout to compensate for Romo’s absence. In Hill, the Vikings have an experienced alternative at quarterback, but one whose limitations are well documented.”

Michael Rand of the Strib speculates on where else the Vikings might look for a QB. “Who is out there (or at least potentially available) as cuts loom for NFL teams this week? COLIN KAEPERNICK: The 49ers QB has been embroiled in controversy over his decision to sit during the national anthem. That could have bearing on his situation with San Francisco, though his roster spot was already tenuous and he could be a candidate to be cut this week.  … Dave Richard at CBS Sports rattled off a list of other QBs who played for Norv Turner and could be pried away — guys like Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weeden and … it’s hard to even type this … Christian Ponder.”

Elsewhere in the NFL. Ben Goessling of ESPN reports, “Carl Eller knows the pain of racial injustice on a deeper level than most current athletes. The issues that led San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick to sit down during the national anthem Friday night aren’t that different from the institutional racism that Eller experienced growing up in the Jim Crow South. And, as the Hall of Fame defensive end made clear on Monday afternoon, athletes have an opportunity to make a profound difference by using their platform to speak out on social issues.The national anthem, though, is not the place Eller would have chosen to do it.”   

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You sue them that’s got the money. Katharine Grayson for the Business Journal reports, “The University of Minnesota is suing Gilead Sciences Inc., alleging the pharmaceutical company’s lucrative Hepatitis C drugs infringe on a university patent. In a lawsuit filed in Minnesota’s U.S. District Court Monday, the university claimed its intellectual property covers Gilead products that contain the drug sofosbuvir … . Those Hepatitis C treatments have generated more than $20 billion in revenue for Foster City, Calif.-based Gilead.” You could buy a lot of sweet new athletic facilities with that kind of dough.

A lament from Rachel Stassen-Berger at the PiPress. “Minnesota voters, nobody meant to take it for granted that you would go to the polls. Politicians have long wooed and encouraged you. The state tried to make it relatively painless for you to register to vote. Reporters (like me) celebrated that you, unlike those of most states, could be relied upon to vote, no matter what. You were such stalwart voters that it was more the shame that national presidential campaigns gave you a pass. But something has changed. Only about half of you cast ballots in the 2014 election, a decline that let states such as Wisconsin, Alaska and Oregon beat you in the turnout rankings. Nearly half of you stayed away from ballots, even though the offices of governor and the U.S. Senate were up for grabs.”

There’s a reason why everything is so green and blooming. Says Paul Huttner for MPR, “It’s not your imagination. It’s been really, really wet this year in Minnesota. As of today, the Twin Cities is on pace for the wettest year on record. Our 17.06″ annual precipitation at MSP Airport so far is slightly ahead of where 1911 was at this date. 2016 wetter than normal thus far, and the consistency of precipitation has been particularly noteworthy. I can’t remember a year quite like this when it comes to excessive rainfall events in Minnesota. I’ve literally lost count of the number of days with multi-inch rainfall totals like we saw again in the past 24 hours. Milaca and St. Cloud are just the latest towns to get swamped by the latest 4″+ deluge.”

Another one close to biting the ore. Says Dan Kraker for MPR, “Magnetation, an innovative Iron Range company that mined leftover mine tailings waste and transformed it into a valuable iron ore concentrate, may be forced to close in a month unless it is rescued by outside investors. The Grand Rapids-based company said last week in a filing with the U.S. Department of Labor that it may implement a shutdown of its Plant 4 on Sept. 30, less than two years after the facility opened. About 160 employees work there. The company also said it may close its iron ore pellet plant in Reynolds, Ind. Concentrate from Plant 4 is currently shipped to the Indiana plant, where it’s made into pellets that feed blast furnaces to make steel.”

Back at the table. Says the AP on the Allina nurses, “Negotiators will return to the bargaining table Friday in hopes of averting a nurses’ strike at five Twin Cities hospitals. The Minnesota Nurses Association represents 4,800 nurses at the affected hospitals. Union officials and Allina Health representatives said Tuesday that federal mediators have called both sides back together. The union is scheduled to strike at 7 a.m. Monday, Labor Day, in a dispute over health insurance, workplace safety and staffing. MNA spokesman Rick Fuentes says Allina’s latest health insurance proposal still shifts too many costs to nurses.”

You want to survive a motorcycle crash? Ride like this guy. Celeste Edenloff of the Forum News Service says, “When Miltona Fire Department assistant chief and a first responder Kyle Grinager heard his pager go off alerting him to a motorcycle crash, he immediately started thinking about the scene and what he could possibly roll up on. ‘I was thinking this was going to be a bad, ugly deal,’ Grinager said. … The scene was not at all like the images he had pictured in his mind. … ‘There was no blood. I thought, this just isn’t right.’ Grinager said it took him a few minutes to survey the scene and then he saw a tethered cord and asked  [74-year-old Jim] Rasmussen what it was. Rasmussen told him it was his vest — a Helite airbag vest. When Rasmussen was thrown, a cord tethered to the Can Am motorcycle instantly inflated air pockets in the vest, breaking his fall and stabilizing his neck and head, which was covered by a helmet.” Probably not macho enough for “real bikers” though.

Second day story on the Lakeville man and husband found dead in Washington state. Says Nick Ferraro of the PiPress, “A South St. Paul elementary school teacher and his husband, who were found dead of an apparent murder-suicide last week in Washington state, were under investigation for having sexual contact with a 16-year-old boy and inappropriate conduct with at least two other underage boys, according to court documents. … The boy told police that this past April, shortly after he turned 16, Babbitt and Deyo asked to take him to a concert in Minneapolis and that they said they would ‘treat him to a hotel stay,’ according to an application for a search warrant. Once there, Babbitt and Deyo provided the teen with alcohol and marijuana and he became very intoxicated, the documents said. They did not go to the concert. Instead, all three had unprotected sex, the court records stated.”

Probably a good idea. Solvejg Wastvedt of MPR reports, “A St. Paul teacher who was put on leave earlier this year after controversial online posts has left the district. Former Como Park High School teacher Theodore Olson retired from the district effective August 18. In a settlement agreement, St. Paul said it will restore five days’ pay to Olson and remove three letters from his personnel file. Writings on Olson’s personal blog and Facebook page stirred controversy in the district in March. Some parents said the postings displayed hostility toward students of color. On his Facebook page, Olson expressed frustration about a lack of classroom discipline: ‘Since we now have no backup, no functional location to send kids who won’t quit gaming, setting up fights, selling drugs, whoring trains, or cyber bullying, we’re screwed.’”