Sloter deserves a shot with the second team
It’s been a bit surprising to find out that Sean Mannion has been getting pretty much all of the reps at quarterback with the second-team offense during the Vikings’ training camp this year. Especially since many figured Kyle Sloter was going to have a good shot at landing the backup job behind Kirk Cousins this season.
Sloter has been criticized by Mike Zimmer for not exactly being the best performer in practice. But pretty much every time he suits up and gets reps under center in the preseason, he finds a way to make plays.
This was the case, once again, on Friday when Sloter entered Minnesota’s preseason matchup against the Saints.
On his very first snap, the Vikings third-string quarterback tossed a beautiful pass to tight end Tyler Conklin that resulted in a 22-yard gain. Then on the very next play, Sloter threw a short pass to fullback Khari Blasingame that gained another 20 yards for Minnesota.
Five plays later, the young Vikings signal-caller connected with Blasingame again for a two-yard touchdown pass. In his first action of the 2019 preseason, Sloter led Minnesota on a six-play, 72-yard drive that resulted in six more points for the team’s total.
Whenever he’s on the field, the confidence level of everyone around him just seems to get a boost. In two offensive drives on Friday, Sloter finished the game completing 85.7 percent of his passes for 62 yards and one touchdown.
This isn’t anything new though. Ever since Sloter entered the league with the Denver Broncos in 2017, he’s made the most of his preseason opportunities. In nine career preseason games, he has completed 73.5 percent of his pass attempts for 841 yards, eight touchdowns, and zero interceptions.
Mannion played decent on Friday against New Orleans, but he didn’t do much to emerge as the clear choice to be Cousins’ backup this year. After proving himself over and over again against opposing third-team defenses, it’s time for the Vikings to give Sloter a chance to play with the second-team offense during their next preseason game.