After starting 11 games as a rookie in 2020, cornerback Cam Dantzler was a healthy scratch for the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1.
When the Minnesota Vikings shared their list of players that wouldn’t be suiting up for their 2021 season-opener shortly before the game began, most of those that were included were expected. However, there was one Vikings player listed as an inactive against the Cincinnati Bengals that drew some surprising reactions.
In his second season with Minnesota, cornerback Cam Dantzler found out he was going to have to wait at least another week to make his 2021 debut for the purple and gold.
Dantzler was the only one of the Vikings‘ six current cornerbacks that were inactive in Week 1. His performance in training camp and the preseason wasn’t terrible, according to multiple reports. But he’s clearly not at the stage in his development where Minnesota was hoping he would be by the start of the regular season.
Mike Zimmer keeps it straightforward with comments about young Minnesota Vikings corner
Obviously, people are curious as to why the Vikings didn’t have Dantzler on the field against Cincinnati. So it wasn’t surprising when Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer was asked on Wednesday about how the young cornerback can get back on the field.
As usual, Zimmer kept his answer nice and honest.
"“First thing, he’s got to play special teams. If you’re a backup player, you play special teams.”"
Judging by the tone of Zimmer’s voice when he gave this answer, it doesn’t sound like he’s too thrilled with Dantzler at this moment.
It’s hard to imagine the young corner would refuse to play special teams or anything like that. Most young players will take whatever snaps they can get to be out on the field, knowing that they could get an opportunity to hop in on offense or defense if someone else gets injured.
Hopefully, this is just a little hiccup in Dantzler’s tenure with the Vikings. If not, he might become the next Minnesota cornerback to fall out of favor with Zimmer after showing some promise early in his NFL career.