5 Vikings to Watch: Preseason Week 3 vs. the Cardinals

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Kyle Sloter
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Kyle Sloter /
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(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Kyle Sloter
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Kyle Sloter /

Kyle Sloter – QB

Kyle Sloter has once again been playing out of his mind this preseason. He’s thrown for 178 yards in two games with two touchdowns. When this guy is in the huddle his teammates respond and the offense just clicks.

He definitely has moxie and is a natural leader who wills his team into the end zone. He just has “it” when a lot of quarterbacks in the NFL don’t.

Mike Zimmer recently poured a lot of cold water on the Sloter heat that’s been raging throughout the Vikings’ fan base. He said he isn’t overly impressed with what Sloter does against third and fourth string players, he needs to work on getting guys in the right places, and managing the game clock better. This is likely just coach-speak as even Ray Charles can see the potential oozing out of this kid.

Sean Mannion has played well himself and should be the favorite to earn Minnesota’s backup job, but Sloter has earned something too. He’s earned a shot to play with the second-team offense on Saturday.

The Vikings have absolutely nothing to lose by putting Sloter out there against some better competition. They will never truly know what they have in this kid until they let him move up a level.

If he gets a series and totally bombs, they’ll then know he’s still got a lot of work to do and his impressive preseason performances are truly because of the decrease in the talent of the competition when he’s on the field.

If he is once again solid, then it means Minnesota has two solid backups to Cousins and potential trade bait for a team that gets desperate for some help at the quarterback position as the season progresses.