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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Sloter makes strong case for Mr. Mankato award in Vikings’ final preseason game

By Matthew Coller

There has not been a quarterback to win the Mr. Mankato award, but Kyle Sloter sure made his case loud and clear on Thursday night.

In the Minnesota Vikings’ preseason finale, Sloter went 11-for-15 with 130 yards and a nice back-shoulder touchdown pass to receiver Brandon Zylstra. He finished the preseason with 41 completions on 56 attempts with four touchdowns and zero interceptions.

While Mike Zimmer said there is no competition for the No. 2 quarterback role, Sloter has done everything he possibly could to prove worthy of their spot as a developmental and in-case-of-emergency quarterback. He even added an 11-yard scramble against the Tennessee Titans.

“I thought he was better tonight than last week,” head coach Mike Zimmer said. “He did better in the huddle, he was better at communicating the plays, he was better with clock management, knowing when the play clock was running down, I thought all those things were much better tonight than it was last week.”

Sloter doesn’t have a deep field of contenders for 1500ESPN’s award for the inexperienced player (who is either drafted third round or later or underrated) who stands out in training camp. Zimmer raved about the performance of running back Mike Boone, who finished with 56 yards on 13 carries and added a 46-yard reception.

“He’s hard to bring down when he’s got the ball in his hands,” Zimmer said.

Roc Thomas started the game, but suffered an ankle injury. He was the star of Week 1, but missed Week 3 with an injury, hurting his chances for Mr. Mankato award and a roster spot. However, he showed enough talent to compete for a practice squad job.

Chad Beebe was out Thursday night. He was a favorite for the award heading into the final week of the preseason, catching nine passes on 12 targets and two touchdowns. Beebe has a shot at landing a job on the 53-man roster, depending on how the Vikings’ receiver decisions shake out.

On the defensive side, Ifeadi Odenigbo registered four QB hits on Thursday night and was the standout best player in the Vikings’ loss to the Jaguars in the second preseason game. Jalyn Holmes also pressured the quarterback consistently throughout the preseason.

The favorites for Mr. Mankato, cornerback Holton Hill and receiver Brandon Zylstra, will not take home the award, but both are in the running for a roster spot. Hill missed a tackle, but also had a pass breakup and 53-yard kick return on Thursday and Zylstra caught a touchdown. Zimmer criticized Zylstra’s blocking after the game.

The Vikings’ final cuts will come down on Saturday afternoon.

So…. who is Mr. Mankato right now?

— Matthew Coller (@MatthewColler) August 31, 2018

The post Sloter makes strong case for Mr. Mankato award in Vikings’ final preseason game appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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