Mannion didn't see the field during the 2020 season. Mannion spent another year acting as Kirk Cousins' backup, but despite being active for all 16 games the 28-year-old didn't take a snap under center. An unrestricted free agent in the offseason, Mannion likely will have a similar fate if he's on a roster.
Mannion agreed to terms Wednesday with the Vikings on a one-year contract, Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Mannion is in line to return for another year as Kirk Cousins' backup, despite having underwhelmed in his lone extended action in Week 17 of last season. Of course, it's worth noting that his unimpressive showing came without the presence of Minnesota's top running backs (Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison) and top offensive tackles (Riley Reiff and Brian O'Neill). The Vikings could still bring in other competition for the backup job this summer.
Mannion will serve as the Vikings' primary quarterback in Sunday's game against the Bears, even if he doesn't start, Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com reports. Coach Mike Zimmer hasn't confirmed how he plans to proceed with resting his players in Week 17, but all reports thus far have suggested that several key regulars -- including Kirk Cousins -- won't play much, if at all. Cousins is active against Chicago, but Cronin suggests that even if the veteran signal-caller gets the first snap, he'll merely just be preserving his consecutive start streak before exiting the contest soon thereafter. Mannion, who has appeared in only two games and has played five snaps in total, will thus be in store for his most extended action of the campaign. The setup isn't favorable, however, as the Vikings' top two running backs (Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison) are out with injuries, while starting offensive tackles Riley Reiff and Brian O'Neill are healthy inactives. Additionally, star wideouts Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are among the several Vikings who will likely have limited roles in Week 17.
Mannion could get his second career start this week against Chicago if starter Kirk Cousins is rested ahead of the playoffs, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. "Sean's a smart guy,'' head coach Mike Zimmer said. "He's done a really good job on the (scout team). When he gets his opportunities with the other guys, he's done a good job." With the Vikings locked into the No. 6 playoff seed, there's nothing to play for this week against Chicago. However, the Vikings may be motivated to play their starters for a quarter or two after a poor offensive performance in last week's loss to Green Bay. Head coach Mike Zimmer hasn't said whether he'll rest his starters and may not announce a decision until kickoff. Either way, it seems likely that Mannion will see significant action Sunday as it's unlikely Cousins will play more than a quarter or two.
Mannion was 7-of-13 for 102 yards passing with a touchdown and no interceptions in Friday's preseason win over New Orleans. Mannion had a solid performance, and he's expected to win the backup job behind Kirk Cousins. So far in camp there hasn't been much talk that his spot as the No. 2 QB is at risk.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3 Year Avg||60.0||111||0||1||-5||0||0|