This hasn’t exactly been the ideal NFL journey for Minnesota Vikings backup quarterback Kellen Mond, who found himself embroiled in a dysfunctional situation with a general manager who reportedly stopped talking and a head coach who may not even have talked. I didn’t even want it.
Trevor Lawrence surviving Jacksonville is the only reason Mond isn’t the top contender for the most adversity he faced as a rookie in 2021. If we’re rating this storm, I’m talking Category 5 problem levels, which is saying a lot considering didn’t even start a game.
Former Vikings coach Mike Zimmer had multiple chances to get the 66th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft on the field: The Week 17 matchup in Green Bay, when starter Kirk Cousins tested positive for COVID-19, and the Week 18 season finale against the Chicago Bears, when any hope of a playoff appearance had already been swirled and flushed down the toilet.
Instead, Zimmer brought out Sean Mannion, a backup official, to be beaten like a drum at Lambeau Field against the No. 1-seeded Packers. He then played all of his starters, including Cousins, to beat his chest for last time against the Bears.
Meanwhile, Mond watched from afar as other quarterbacks took significant reps in real games.
“Not particularly,” Zimmer responded when asked if he wanted to see Mond on the field in the season finale.
“I see it every day,” Zimmer added with a blank expression on his face, when he was met with a follow-up question.
Cold. Absolutely “cold as a stone”.
But the twists and turns in “The Young and the Mond-less” continued with the firing of general manager Rick Spielman and Zimmer. The 22-year-old quarterback listened to all the screaming and yelling about the arrival of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell, knowing he could end up being the outsider.
I would probably never say it publicly because, you know, the competition and stuff. The man is an athlete and he will work hard to earn his place on the team.
But there is also the reality that the new regime has no ties to him. Adofo-Mensah is not tied to all of Spielman’s options, nor should he be. And O’Connell is fully committed to Cousins to the point where the team is reportedly considering rehiring his best fellow student, Mannion.
There is a real possibility, assuming the Mannion deal goes through, that Mond could be a third-tier quarterback for the second straight season.
This isn’t meant to be a pity party for Mond, who could very well show up at training camp and give O’Connell something to think about. At the end of the day, his play will ultimately decide where he ranks on the Vikings quarterback depth chart. Spielman expected to be better and Zimmer was not interested.
How will Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell feel?