Mike Zimmer threw a giant bucket of calm the heck down on any notion of Kyle Sloter and his 137.1 preseason passer rating unseating Sean Mannionas the primary backup to Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Asked if another statistically strong preseason has moved Sloter any closer to Mannion, the Vikings coach said, “I don’t know. I don’t know that you guys [media] know all the little details about what you see in how he goes and does the game.
“He’s got to get a lot better in a lot of the other parts of being a quarterback. Making the right checks, getting people in the right formation, making sure the motion is there, not missing the time clock when it’s 8 yards in front of you. There’s a lot of things he has to get better at if he wants to be the backup quarterback.”
Sloter, a third-year pro with nary an NFL regular-season snap to his credit, has completed 85% of his preseason passes (17 of 20) with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Mannion, who has played 10 games with 53 passes and one start in four years with the Rams, has completed 66.7% of his preseason passes (18 of 27) with two touchdowns, one interception and a 96.2 passer rating.
Joseph returning to team drills
Linval Joseph, whose offseason shoulder surgery has limited him to individual drills only this summer, is expected to return to full practice duty this week, Zimmer said Tuesday.
Zimmer wouldn’t say whether Joseph will play in the third preseason game on Saturday against visiting Arizona. No starters are expected to play in the preseason finale next week at Buffalo.
No timetable on special teams
As for a timetable on pulling the trigger on naming a kicker, punter and holder, Zimmer said that, well, there isn’t one.
“I don’t think we have a timeline right now,” Zimmer said. “Let’s just see where it goes and make sure we’re right.”
Three weeks before the regular season begins, the Vikings have two more preseason games to decide whether unproven Kaare Vedvik replaces kicker Dan Bailey or punter Matt Wile. Receiver Chad Beebe continues to work as the holder with Wile’s status uncertain.