Zimmer on Patterson: ‘I’m in his corner’

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he still has high hopes for Cordarrelle Patterson, but said it was hard for the second-year receiver to get involved in the game after two days of practice last week.

Cordarrelle Patterson played only three snaps on offense Sunday, all in the second half of the Minnesota Vikings’ 31-13 win over the Carolina Panthers.

Patterson said he wasn’t sure why he was used so little, indicating the coaches might think his knee and ankle injuries were worse than he believes they are. But head coach Mike Zimmer had a simple explanation why Patterson didn’t play much. The 2013 first-round draft choice missed two days of practice, along with Tuesday’s off day, to attend a funeral.

Apparently Patterson didn’t seek a clarification from Zimmer since Sunday, but Zimmer said he’s willing to explain it to Patterson if asked by him.

“It’s hard to get involved too much in the game when you miss that much time. He came back on Friday and practiced,” Zimmer said. “I’m going to keep saying this over and over until somebody believes me, that I am in this guy’s corner. The biggest thing for me is that I say, ‘We don’t want him in there or we don’t want to do this or we don’t want to do that,’ – that’s ridiculous. I want every one of our players to be good and be great, and we all want instant gratification including myself, but sometimes it takes a little bit longer.”

The Vikings would benefit from Patterson’s athleticism, but there have been indications that he is still trying to develop as a route-runner and coaches have pointed out that he is in his fourth offense in the last four seasons.

“I have high hopes for him. I’m in his corner. I want him to be a good player,” Zimmer said. “It would help for this football team. It would help me; it would help everybody around that he becomes a great player. But it may be not right away. I keep going back, and I had players in Cincinnati, defensive players, who are great players now, that got to play sparingly their first or second year. Not just because somebody was in front of them that was a better athlete but knew what to do all the time and was kind of grooming the guy along, and I still feel that way about Cordarrelle. He’s going to be a good player. I don’t have any doubts in my mind about that.”

Zimmer said “it’s kind of hard to evaluate” Patterson’s knee and ankle during the week if he is gone from Tuesday through Thursday, but also said Patterson’s knee “looked alright” when he returned to Winter Park. Zimmer also said he knew that Patterson would be gone during the week, so his absence wasn’t a surprise.


Tests performed on Anthony Barr’s injured knee revealed no structural damage, Zimmer said Monday.

Barr hurt his left knee in third quarter of Sunday’s game and didn’t return after a play in which he didn’t take any contact. He said after the game he irritated it in the first half and it tightened up on him in the second half.

“It’s been a couple weeks. It just affected me more that it has in the past,” Barr said.

He played in 53 of the 74 defensive snaps. The first-round pick leads the Vikings with 99 tackles, according to coaches film review.

Sharrif Floyd (knee) also came out of the game after playing only seven snaps, but Zimmer said Floyd is doing better this week already than he was last week, when he missed two days of practice and was limited on Friday. He was listed as questionable on the injury report.


  • Mike Zimmer was busy watching film of the New York Jets, so he didn’t attend a ceremony on Monday to name a street – Bud Grant Way – near the new stadium in honor of the Hall of Fame former Vikings coach. But Zimmer appreciates having Grant come to Winter Park to visit.

    ”It’s cool for me just having him in the same building, having the office there,” Zimmer said. “I think it’s great for not only for me and everything that he’s done for coaches and coaching but also for the fans. I might get my picture taken in front of the (street sign) there.”

  • Zimmer sounded relatively pleased with Mike Harris’ first start at right tackle for Phil Loadholt, who was lost for the season with pectoral injury.

    “I thought (Harris) did well. He battles hard,” Zimmer said. “He competes. He had a couple rough plays but I thought for the first time he did well.”

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