Mike Zimmer hasn’t decided whether to rest starters for Week 17

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The Vikings’ 23-10 loss to the Packers on Monday night locks Minnesota into the No. 6 seed. Which makes Sunday’s season finale against the Bears meaningless. Which gives the Vikings a pre-playoff bye for their key players, if they choose to use it.

“I haven’t really decided yet,” coach Mike Zimmer told reporters on Tuesday regarding whether players will be rested. “I don’t know the answer to that yet.”

It’s a tough call. On one hand, it’s good to avoid injury and to keep the team’s most important players fresh. On the other hand, it would be good to wash some of the stink off the starting lineup after last night’s clunker, which Zimmer continues to refuse to blame on only quarterback Kirk Cousins.

“I think it was a combination of things,” Zimmer said Tuesday. “I thought Green Bay did a good job in coverage. They played a lot of coverage last night. They changed up some of their rushes and so they were kind of getting in his lap. The combination of that and not running the ball, I think it was really a whole bunch of different areas. It wasn’t just Kirk. We didn’t block him up front very well and they did a good job in coverage.”

Running backs Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison, both of whom missed the Week 16 game with injury, surely won’t play. Linebacker Eric Kendricks, who suffered a quad injury for which an MRI will be performed, likewise won’t be used. Beyond that, Zimmer will decide what to do about Sunday’s game.

He continues to be pragmatic about last night’s loss, which gave the NFC North to the Packers.

“Winning the division is great and everything because you get a home playoff game, but we weren’t good enough to do that so we’ll just keep trying to do something better,” Zimmer said.

They’ll need to play a lot better to do something better, and the road begins in Green Bay or Seattle or New Orleans. The reward for a victory would then be a trip to face the NFC’s No. 1 seed.

37 responses to “Mike Zimmer hasn’t decided whether to rest starters for Week 17

  1. Rest the key defensive players, they were the only ones who showed up.
    Play all of the offensive starters. #3 – #6 all have to win three games to get to Super Bowl. If the offense can find a lucky charm, the Vikings defense can win three games.

  2. If the offensive line plays like they did last night in the playoffs, they must really hate Cousins.

  3. Whatever you do decide Coach, but for God’s sake check Stefanskis offensive game plan….. it’s not a high school were playing, it the Bears.

  4. Although I’m not a fan of resting players, luckily in the NFL it’s only really discussed Week 17. I can’t imagine being an NBA fan and the whole “load management” debacle.

  5. They should’ve rested before playing the Packers. They looked tired. It might have been fear, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and call it exhaustion.

  6. Most of the winning coaches have elite franchise QB’s. Many even have HOFers. Mike Zimmer is winning with an average QB. When I think of the best coaches, I always look to see who actually has to out-coach their opponent in order to win. The great QB’s cover up a lot of mistakes. Doesn’t John Harbaugh look a lot smarter this year?

  7. I want to see some of the backups play on the o line. It is clear that Reiff is too heavy footed to deal with elite pass rushers and Elfein is regressing toward peewee league level. So let’s let the backups show us what they’ve got. My brain tells me it could get worse but my heart just can’t believe it.

  8. Here’s the deal:

    Only one other team in 240 games this year has had such a terrible offensive stat line.

    139 yards and 2.6 yards per play? That kind of inefficiency belongs to Kirk Cousins and Luke Falk vs the Patriots.

    Furthermore, the Vikings achieved only 7 first downs at home, their worst offensive game since 1971.

    Adam Thielen in his two games since returning has 3 catches for 27 yards total.

    The Vikings haven’t beaten a team with a winning record all year.

    And you’re telling me there’s a chance that there’s a chance that the Vikings won’t want to try to improve before trying to beat any of the 5 teams that are clearly better than they are?

  9. Zimmer is probably the 4th worst coach in the league right now trailing that fool in Cleveland, Shurmur in New York, and Garrett in Dallas

  10. Zimmer decided on Saturday night not to try hard this week to win the game. They treated the packer game like a scrimmage game with the plan to rest week 17. They had no faith in Detroit beating the packers.

  11. Rest everybody and hope to lose.

    There is ZERO to play for, Zero, ZERO!!!

    One draft pick could potentially make a huge difference. This game is stone cold nonsense.

    Nothing helps this team better than a loss.

    Play Jones substuting for Elflien, play Hercules….all of the 2nd strings. We may learn something, PLAYING WITH HOUSE MONEY now!!!

    The Vikings are the 6th seed regardless!! A win only cripples the draft position ing. Anything less than Mannion starting is MALPRACTICE!!

    This is a rare opportunity to tank…do it!

    Grow up, this needs to be a team looking to next year. The Vikings are NOT worthy Super Bowl contenders. We all know it, let’s not pretend this team is something it isn’t.

    It’s not 1998, it’s not Brett Favre throwing across his body either. The Vikings need help on the O-Line.

    We need some 1st class Beef to get there. This game is a rare opportunity to succeed by losing!!

  12. Monday’s game was played before a record crowd of 67,157 at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The heated regional rivalry saw the visiting Green Bay Packers win the game 23-10.

    “This was going to be my first-ever football game that I’ve been to,” said (Viking fan.) “Everyone was kind of hyping it up. ‘It’s better than the Super Bowl, it’s Vikings-Packers.'”

  13. The O-line already took Monday night off and quite frankly so did Zim. The 2nd time around Zim plays well against opponents. The Vikings can beat teams left with a healthy Cook and Mattison. Rest Elflein too and see if his replacement plaits better. How could he not.

  14. This is a debate every year amongst teams that have locked in their playoff spot and I believe the evidence is overwhelming in favor of playing your starters. Cook is the lone exception, he needs to heal as much as possible but Zimmer needs to roll everybody out there and play to win the game. Momentum has to be built and Zimmer needs to recognize that it can’t start in the playoffs, he needs it next Sunday vs. the Bears.

    There is self defeating attitude that tanking one game wouldn’t hurt but the Football Gods are not amused and extract their punishment by not letting the Vikings win a Super Bowl for another 58 years.

  15. Is there some paragraph in the NFL rules book that would just allow both teams to agree to a tie and cancel this event? Meaningless for both sides unless someone gets hurt

  16. Absolutely rest starters. Not just because you want to avoid injury, but because they looked so bad that they just need a mental break. The O-line was putrid. It’s kind of like Seattle. They lost their RB’s, and the team looked terrible. Without Cook and Mattison, they are almost surely 1 and

  17. the truly sad thing is that there are absolutely zero new stories about the Bears to post a comment to. 2019 has been such a waste and little to look froward to in 2020. I guess Bear fans need to learn from the French Foreign Legion: MARCH ON OR DIE!

  18. Rest up the Vikings video producer who thought it was wise to show Rodgers getting hurt on the big screen, a classless move by a classless organization, I don’t think it produced the outcome intended , the whole Vikings team got man handled because of it. What a genius.

  19. In the end there’s only one left standing, and barring any serious injuries to key players, this season belongs to the Ravens.

  20. Sure, why not end the season being humiliated by two of the three North rivals TWICE this season only to choke again in your first round, on the road playoff game. Perfect!

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