Vikings defensive backs apparently defied coach Mike Zimmer's game plan

BY Dan Graf • December 24, 2016

A Vikings season that began as a feel-good story with five straight wins despite injuries to the team’s two best offensive players further unraveled Saturday when coach Mike Zimmer revealed after a 38-25 loss to Green Bay that his defensive backs disobeyed his game plan for covering Packers receiver Jordy Nelson.

Nelson caught seven passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns in the first half before Zimmer got the matter under control.

The coach had wanted No. 1 cornerback Xavier Rhodes to shadow Nelson – who is a different player now in his recovery from ACL surgery than he was when the teams last met in a Week 2 Vikings win – all over the field, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

But Vikings defensive backs decided to instead stay on their side of the field, and after the game Rhodes was left to answer for what happened:

“To be honest, I really don’t want to answer that. A matter of fact, forget it. We felt as a team, as players, we came together and we felt like we’d never done that when we played against the Packers. Us, as DBs, felt like we could handle him. That’s how we felt as DBs that we could stay on our side and cover him. In the beginning, we’d always played against them and played our sides, we never followed, so that’s what we felt as DBs. That’s what we went with.”

“That’s what he was supposed to do the whole game. Someone decided they wouldn’t do that.”


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