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Vikings place QB Matt Cassel on IR

The Teddy Bridgewater era appears to have officially begun in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Vikings placed Matt Cassel on injured reserve Wednesday morning, three days after the quarterback broke several bones in his left foot on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

"It's not the way that I wanted it to happen, but I'm still going to have to take advantage of this opportunity. It's one thing to be named the guy, but for me I want to continue to just be the guy for a long time."

Teddy Bridgewater

The move means that Bridgewater -- who filled in for Cassel on Sunday and will make his first NFL start this weekend against the Atlanta Falcons -- likely will have the job for the rest of the season.

The Vikings named Cassel their starting quarterback at the beginning of the season and had planned not to have a "quick hook" with him, as coach Mike Zimmer had put it. But their plan to bring Bridgewater along slowly is now gone, and they'll turn things over to the rookie, who can claim the job for good by the time Cassel is healthy again.

"It's no pressure on me and it's not all about me,'' Bridgewater said Wednesday. "It takes a team effort to win football games and we have 11 guys on defense who are going to play their tails off. We have 11 guys on special teams and 10 other guys on the offensive side of the ball that are going to be out there competing for one another. There's no pressure for me to have to fill the needs or anything. ... It's just all about the team.''

Bridgewater made his NFL debut Sunday in relief of Cassel, completing 12 of 20 passes for 150 yards and running six times for 27 yards in the Vikings' 20-9 loss to the Saints.

"Honestly, I think he's been ready since the day he walked in," Zimmer said.

Cassel injured his foot on a scramble during a field goal drive early in the second quarter. He was carted to the locker room for X-rays after trainer Eric Sugarman examined his foot.

Bridgewater said earlier this season -- while he was still Cassel's backup -- he put six people, including his mother, girlfriend and agent, on a list to watch the game. Now that he's starting "the number hasn't changed.''

"I gave myself a moment Monday morning,'' Bridgewater said. "I woke up and told myself, 'Hey, your dream is finally here and it's coming true.' It's not the way that I wanted it to happen, but I'm still going to have to take advantage of this opportunity.

"It's one thing to be named the guy, but for me I want to continue to just be the guy for a long time.''

The Vikings also placed guard Brandon Fusco on injured reserve after he hurt a pectoral muscle on Sunday against the Saints, taking him off the field for the season just three weeks after Minnesota signed him to a contract extension.

It's the first significant injury for a Vikings offensive line that has had the same five starters since 2012, and it means the team's running game -- already lagging without Adrian Peterson -- will lose one of its best blockers.

To fill Cassel's and Fusco's roster spots, the Vikings signed tight end Chase Ford and offensive lineman Austin Wentworth from their practice squad. The Vikings also brought back quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson -- who had been with the team in 2012 and part of '13 -- as a practice squad player and signed tight end Ryan Otten to the practice squad.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.