Vikings' Zimmer says no change to QB depth chart, Siemian will remain top backup

Brace Hemmelgarn, USA TODAY Sports Images

Third-string quarterback Kyle Sloter has impressed in the preseason, but Zimmer is staying with the veteran Siemian

There are no quarterback controversies in Minnesota since Kirk Cousins signed his three-year, $84 million contract to be the franchise signal-caller. But preseason performances had some wondering who might serve as Cousins top backup this season.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer left no doubt on Monday when asked if there was any question that Trevor Siemian would be the backup.

No, Zimmer said, bluntly.

Siemian only played 18 snaps in the third preseason game on Friday at home against the Seattle Seahawks. Siemian, who was acquired in an offseason trade from the Denver Broncos, was 4-of-8 passing for just three yards and was sacked three times before being booed by the hometown crowd at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The other night he didnt play as well as he had in the past, so he has to improve some, Zimmer said on Monday.

Meanwhile, Kyle Sloter has excelled for the second consecutive preseason. Sloter led Minnesota to a 21-20 victory on Friday by going 11 of 15 for 85 yards and two touchdowns on 21 snaps.

As expected, Cousins received his most extensive action of the season and was 17 of 28 for 182 yards in playing the entire first half. Cousins didnt throw a touchdown or interception and wasnt sacked. He led the Vikings on one scoring drive which was finished with a rushing touchdown from Latavius Murray.

Through three preseason games, Cousins has completed 60 percent of his passes for 5.9 yards per attempt. He has one touchdown, no interceptions and has been sacked once while accumulating an 85.0 quarterback rating.

Siemian has completed 57.1 percent of his 35 passes for 6.1 yards per attempt. He has two touchdowns one on Roc Thomas 78-yard screen play for a touchdown in the first game and one interception while being sacked six times.

Sloter has 41 pass attempts, completing 73.2 percent for 5.8 yards per attempt. He has three touchdowns and no interceptions, and has been sacked four times. Hes led Minnesota to a pair of fourth-quarter comebacks to win.

When he goes in, he makes plays and thats pretty much it, Zimmer said Monday on what hes seen from Sloter.

Heres a couple other items from Zimmers press conference on Monday:


The Vikings didnt run the ball as well on Friday against Seattle as they had the previous two games.

Dalvin Cook played in his first game since his season-ending knee injury last year. Cook played four snaps and had two carries for one yard. Murray had 10 carries for 24 yards and Mike Boone carried the ball nine times for 26 yards.

Fullback Kobe McCrary had a carry for two yards as Minnesota had 24 rushes for 58 yards, a 2.4-yard average.

Zimmer said Cook felt fine after his first game action

Yes, he didnt get hit that much, Zimmer said. Hes fine.

Boone continues to make an impression when getting an opportunity.

I think hes doing well, Zimmer said. He is a guy that is really versatile. Can catch the ball, has good feet and made some really good cuts. He continues to show pretty well.


Right guard Mike Remmers and right tackle Rashod Hill returned Friday after missing time with injuries.

Mike and Rashod were a little bit tentative but nothing bad, Zimmer said. They did fine but it was just good to get them out there again.


Veteran safety George Iloka played a day after signing with the Vikings. He played 25 snaps on defense, eight on special teams and had a pass deflection that ended up in an interception for Anthony Harris.

He was okay, Zimmer said on Monday. Obviously, he made the play on the interception. Theres some things that hes been learning, technique-wise, since Ive been gone [from Cincinnati], now I want him to change back to kind of what were doing. I noticed a few things like that, but nothing glaring. As far as understanding where hes supposed to be and what his assignment is, that was all fine. He sat down on a route one time where he didnt need to, a couple things like that.