The Wild Ride Continues: Minnesota’s QB2 in Week 10 is Now Employed in Seattle

NFL: Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Lately, the NFL has been a wild place for Sean Mannion, a journeyman who should be somewhat used to bouncing around the league.

As recently as Week 10, Mannion was the primary backup for the Minnesota Vikings. The combination of improved health at quarterback alongside better health at wide receiver meant Mannion got squeezed out in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Re-adding Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall meant the practice squad was the place to be for the veteran. The real issue arose when Justin Jefferson reclaimed his roster spot.

Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sean Mannion (14) throws during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Bringing Jefferson onto the 53-man roster meant subtracting N’Keal Harry from the active roster. The issue is that Minnesota didn’t want to fully sever the relationship with Harry, so the practice squad was the end goal. Making room on the 16-player practice squad meant cutting Mannion, who once again had to face unemployment in the NFL.

Keeping up? If so, take a look at the next layer.

Per Tom Pelissero of The NFL Network, Sean Mannion has been added in Seattle due to the injury to Geno Smith: “With Geno Smith dealing with a groin injury, the #Seahawks brought back QB Sean Mannion to their practice squad.” Previously, Mannion did some work for Pete Carroll and the Seahawks, so the in-season transition should be easier to navigate for the veteran QB.

The Wild Ride Continues for Sean Mannion

For the most part, Vikings fans aren’t particularly enthused about Sean Mannion.

The backup leaves a little something to be desired when it comes to on-field play. At 6’6″, 230, Mannion certainly looks like an NFL QB. Unfortunately, the impressive size doesn’t translate to strong play.

Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sean Mannion (14) hands off to running back Ty Chandler (32) during the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

For his career, Mannion has completed 60.9% of his passes. The 5.2 yards-per-attempt average is quite modest and so too is his 1/3 TD-to-INT ratio. Mannion, in short, is best served as a QB3. His contribution comes via his brain, not his physical abilities on the football field.

Mannion infamously started for the Vikings in 2021. Minnesota marched into Lambeau Field looking for a victory; a few hours later, Minnesota limped away while licking their wounds. The quarterback finished his day having gone 22/36 for 189 yards, 1 TD, and 0 INTs. The Vikings fell by a score of 37-10.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
Jan 1, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Minnesota Vikings fans hold up a sign during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The regime change from Mike Zimmer to Kevin O’Connell opened the opportunity to flip things around at QB. After all, O’Connell played quarterback in the NFL, so it made sense that he’d be looking to do things a bit differently.

Kirk Cousins stuck around but the backups didn’t. Kellen Mond and Sean Mannion got kicked to the curb while Nick Mullens was welcomed with open arms (or, put differently, was acquired via trade with the Raiders). Fans, at least for a little while, believed that The Mannion Era was done in Minnesota.

Questions Answered: Primetime Mond-Mannion Battle, Ingram with 1s, Conklin Emergence with Jets
Jul 29, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterbacks Kellen Mond (11), Kirk Cousins (8), and Sean Mannion (14). Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The unusually high level of adversity in 2023 led to Minnesota welcoming Mannion back into the purple fold. First, Mullens left for the IR. Then, Cousins followed. Jaren Hall even joined in the misery by suffering a concussion in Week 9 while in Atlanta.

Within the muddled mess of injury foibles was a Mannion addition. He was signed to the practice squad on October 11th.

The Week 10 Saints contest featured Josh Dobbs getting the start and Sean Mannion functioning as the main backup. Thankfully, there were no more injuries at the QB spot, meaning Mannion could operate as a sounding board for Dobbs instead of the man taking snaps from Garrett Bradbury.

The plan, quite evidently, is for Mannion to serve as some insurance for the Seahawks. The team website lists Drew Lock as the main backup, so he’ll likely be the one getting the start if Geno Smith can’t go. Mannion will be a backup. At 6-6, the Seahawks are in direct competition with Minnesota for one of the NFC’s coveted playoff spots.

Sean Mannion, 31, has been employed by the Rams, Vikings, and Seahawks in his career.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and Over the Cap helped with this piece.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.