Kellen Mond

Getty Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he didn’t want to see Kellen Mond play in a meaningless season finale against the Chicago Bears.

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has apparently seen enough.

After sharing that he didn’t give rookie quarterback Kellen Mond any consideration to start against the Green Bay Packers, Zimmer watched Sean Mannion lead an abysmal offensive performance — the culprit of a 37-10 loss that knocked the Vikings out of the playoff chase with one week remaining in the regular season.

When asked if Mond would play next week in a meaningless Week 18 season finale against the Chicago Bears, Zimmer made a damning statement on the rookie quarterback.

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Zimmer Wants No More of Mond

In a postgame press conference, the surly 65-year-old coach, whose future with the franchise seems sealed after ownership’s ultimatum of a postseason appearance was not met, had few words to offer on how he felt about his team’s performance.

But after seeing Mond play a series late in the fourth quarter on Sunday, Zimmer had seen enough of the rookie, who completed 2-of-3 passes for five yards but nearly threw a pick-six on third down.

Despite Mond seeing action on Sunday, which Zimmer said was due to an undisclosed injury to Mannion, the Vikings coach has no desire to give the rookie any more game reps this season.

Here’s an exchange during the press conference:

Q: Do you think you want to get a look at Mond next week?

Zimmer: Not particulary.

Q: Mike, why don’t you want to get a look at him.

Zimmer: I see him every day (in practice).

Zimmer added that the team would discuss whether to play Kirk Cousins when and if he returns from a stint on the COVID-19 reserve list in time for next week’s game.

However, with the Vikings hoping to either extend or trade Cousins this offseason, playing him next week would be reckless. Despite the veteran quarterback’s proven durability, playing in a meaningless game could put the team’s investment in him in harm’s way for little gain.

Minnesota’s options beyond Cousins remain Mannion, Mond or Kyle Sloter, who was an emergency signing last week.

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Vikings Oversold Mannion

To Mannion’s credit, he came off the COVID-19 list on Friday and, upon arriving at the Vikings practice facility, learned he would be starting on Sunday.

But despite the two-day turnaround, Zimmer sold the idea that Mannion’s knowledge of the playbook would make him a viable replacement in the Vikings offense that would remain the same.

It wasn’t.

Mannion rarely looked to his second reads, barely pushing the ball beyond the sticks. Meanwhile, the Packers didn’t fret over any serious threats in the passing game and sold out to stop Dalvin Cook, who took nine carries 13 yards.

The defense played well on the first three Packers drives, holding Green Bay to a field goal and a red-zone stop in the first quarter. But as the game wore on, the defense was stranded by the offense, which failed to sustain a drive longer than 3 minutes, 22 seconds.

And despite the failure to launch any resemblance of the Vikings’ previously imposing offense with Cousins, the Vikings didn’t offer Mond much of a chance to make something happen.

Former Vikings linebacker and KFAN analyst Ben Leber took issue with Mannion serving as fool’s gold for a fan base kept in the dark about a player the team spent a valuable draft pick who could be their future under center, especially when Zimmer’s regime is responsible for developing him.


Source: Heavy

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