Patterson Very Limited In Game Against Panthers

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It took the Vikings a while to get Cordarrelle Patterson involved in the game plan last year, but once they did, he turned into a Pro Bowler, getting more and more important as the season progressed.

This season, the opposite has happened and Sunday against Carolina, he barely played at all.

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He’s the Vikings’ most explosive and dynamic offensive weapon, but he was on the field for just three offensive plays. The only time he touched the ball was on a kickoff return.

“I can’t really comment on that,” Patterson said. “The things I need to say, it’s not meant to be said. Like I said, you’ve got to talk to coach Zimmer about that, and whatever coach Zimmer and the offensive coordinator do, that’s their decision, and I stand behind them.”

Patterson said he is healthy.

“I’m good, man,” he said. “I feel like I’m 100 percent.”

So, why wasn’t Patterson used more?

“The coaches didn’t feel like I was 100 percent, so they (kept) me out,” Patterson said. “So I respect them for that.”

Is it a disagreement over his health? Is there something he needs to do to prove to the coaches he’s 100 percent?

“I really don’t know,” Patterson said. “You’ve got to ask them that. When you find out, let me know.”

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It sounds like there’s a rift.

“First off, you’ve got to be at practice,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “And then you’ve got to do stuff when you’re there.”

Yeah, it sounds like a rift.

“I really like Cordarrelle,” said Zimmer, who elected to start Charles Johnson instead, and played Jarius Wright in three-receiver sets. “I think he’s going to be a good player. But he continues to deal with things. And so that was just part of it.”

Patterson said the coaches “really didn’t” give him an explanation for his limited role. Zimmer said it wasn’t a disciplinary reason, but that Patterson missing two days of practice this week to attend a funeral didn’t help his cause.

But still, a player of his caliber ought to be on the field more if there isn’t a deeper issue. Right?

“I really don’t know,” Patterson said. “I’m just playing my role, man. Just doing what they say to do. (If) they tell me I’m not playing this week, I can’t really complain about that. That’s what they want. What they say is going to go.”

Does he need to have a conversation with the coaching staff about his role?

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“I don’t know, I’ll see how this week goes,” he said. “And if it ain’t going like I want it to, I feel like I need to step up and have a conversation with them.”