Why it doesn’t matter who the Vikings backup quarterback is in 2019

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Kyle Sloter
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Kyle Sloter /
2 of 4
(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Sean Mannion
(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Sean Mannion /

What’s wrong with Sean Mannion?

As it stands, heading into the third preseason game against Arizona, Mannion seems to have the upper hand on Sloter for the backup job. One question on the mind of many Vikings fans is why Mannion is with the team in the first place.

Mannion’s four-year career in the NFL has been uneventful and even that is being kind. In four seasons with the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams, Mannion was basically kept in bubble wrap behind Nick Foles and Jared Goff. When he did get into the game, things didn’t go so well for the Rams.

During those four years, Mannion made just one start and that was during a Week 17 performance in 2017 when the Rams were trying to lose to set up playoff positioning. With the trust that Mannion would do the job, the Oregon State product went 20-for-34 with 169 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.

A game manager role is what the Rams wanted and Mannion did his job to not lose the game for them, but not win it either.

With Vikings offensive consultant Gary Kubiak craving a more balanced offense, it’s no surprise that he was one of the biggest supporters of bringing Mannion to Minnesota despite his extremely limited resume.

But a scenario of Mannion hitting the field would be similar to when Shaun Hill was thrust into action after Teddy Bridgewater‘s knee injury in 2016. In that scenario, the Vikings were so terrified of letting Hill actually start that they threw away a first-round draft pick to acquire Sam Bradford.

Mannion hasn’t been awful in the preseason outside of a pick-six against the Seattle Seahawks last weekend, but those expecting him to be Peyton Manning (Hello, Mr. Kubiak!) off the sidelines have to be kidding themselves.