Frazier says Cordarrelle Patterson's few snaps was 'coach's decision'
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- It seems more than a month ago that Minnesota Vikings rookie receiver burst onto the scene with a 50-yard kickoff return in the preseason opener against the Houston Texans on Aug. 9.
Patterson played just five of the 56 offensive snaps in Sunday's regular season opener at the Detroit Lions, the fewest of any receiver and one fewer than quarterback-turned-receiver Joe Webb. Patterson caught the only pass thrown his way, a zero route in which he broke a few tackles for a 10-yard gain up the sideline.
The most consistent action the University of Tennessee product saw all day was lined up as the starting kickoff return man, taking out only two as Lions' kickoff specialist Sam Martin booted nearly every one through the end zone.
Patterson was on the injury report with a back problem, listed as 'limited' on Wednesday and Thursday. But he was a full participant in Friday's walkthrough.
"He's healthy. We're going to try and get him a few more snaps, but we need to get a few more first downs and stay on the field longer with our offense," Coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday.
Of the 13 drives on Sunday, the Vikings ended six (46%) with a punt or turnover before they could gain a first down.
Speculation in the spring surrounded Patterson's maturity and whether or not he'd be quick to adapt to the NFL's technique, dense playbooks and schemes. Frazier said that wasn't a problem.
"[The playbook] is not an issue," Frazier said. "Coach's decision."