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Presser Points: Zimmer on Stefon Diggs' Status for Sunday

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. –Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer told members of the media that Stefon Diggs was held out of practice Friday for precautionary reasons.

When asked if he was confident Diggs would play Sunday, Zimmer said, "Yeah."

Diggs currently leads the league in receiving yards with 285 over the first two games.

The Vikings will travel to Carolina on Saturday to take on the defending NFC Champs at noon (CT) Sunday. Zimmer said they'll have their work cut out for them.

"They're an awfully good football team," Zimmer said of the Panthers. "They're tremendous offensively with their weapons, their defense plays hard and fast, got some very good players on it. It will be a great test for us to go down there and see where we're at."

Here are four other topics Zimmer addressed in his podium session:

Containing Cam

One of the biggest – literally – challenges for Minnesota will be facing Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. At 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, Newton **poses a unique offensive threat**. Zimmer said he's a weapon that the entire Vikings defense will need to be on its toes for.

"Part of it is his scrambling ability, and then they have a lot of quarterback runs, the option game, things like that," Zimmer said. "There probably isn't anybody [he] doesn't put pressure on – linebackers, safeties, the defensive line."

QB comparisons

The Vikings can hang their hats on defeating the division rival Packers last week, which included containing quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Zimmer said while Rodgers and Newton are dynamic quarterbacks with strong arms and accurate passes, there are differences between the two.

"There are a little bit more designed runs for Newton," Zimmer said. "The offense is different […] These guys [the Panthers] have huge receivers that will be a test for us physically as well."

Depth at cornerback

Xavier Rhodes has been back on the practice field this week, and Zimmer said he thinks there's a "good possibility" he could play at Carolina. He addressed the Vikings cornerback depth, saying it always helps that he looks for a "certain style" of cornerbacks to be on the roster.

He's been impressed with Mackensie Alexander, whom Minnesota drafted 54th overall this year.

"I think this Mackensie Alexander's going to be a good player," Zimmer said. "He's gotten into both these two ball games a little bit, and I don't think the stage has been too big for him – he'll go compete.

"Trae has done a good job, [and Terence] Newman," Zimmer added. "Hopefully we get Xavier back, so I think that's a pretty good group."

Shamar stepping up

With tackle Danielle Hunter sidelined indefinitely with a knee injury, Shamar Stephen has been starting in his place. Zimmer said Stephen, who missed 11 games last season with a toe injury, has been playing well.

"He's getting better as a pass rusher; he's played the run very well," Zimmer said. "He's growing up – he's talking a lot more. Before you couldn't hardly get any words out of him, and now he's a lot more vocal. He's been playing good."

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