Unvaccinated Kirk Cousins gets COVID at worst time for Vikings

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is out for Sunday’s game against the Packers, after the team placed him on the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday.

Cousins, who is unvaccinated, tested positive for COVID-19, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero — who said the quarterback self-reported experiencing COVID symptoms to the team, and then tested positive.

“I’m going to be vigilant about avoiding a close contact,” Cousins said during training camp. “I’ve even thought about should I just set up literally plexiglass around where I sit, so that this can never happen again. I’ve thought about it, because I’m gonna do whatever it takes.”

The Vikings’ backup quarterback Sean Mannion is also out on the COVID-19 reserve list, but could return before Sunday’s NFC North matchup. He was placed on the list last Sunday.

Rookie quarterback Kellen Mond is next up on Minnesota’s depth chart. Kyle Sloter is also available.

Kirk Cousins entered COVID protocols
Getty Images

Earlier this week, the NFL changed its COVID-19 protocols to follow the CDC’s updated mandate to shorten quarantine time from 10 to five days. Cousins first confirmed he is unvaccinated against the virus during training camp. Per the NFL’s protocols, as an unvaccinated player, he tests every day.

This will be the second start Cousins has missed in four years with the Vikings. 

Cousins has thrown for 3,971 yards with 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season.

Cousins will be unavailable for the Packers game
Cousins will be unavailable for the Packers game
Getty Images

The timing of Cousins’ absence couldn’t be worse, as the 7-8 Vikings are fighting for playoff berth. They are entering Week 17 as the NFC’s No. 8 seed — one spot out of the playoffs. 

Meanwhile, the 12-3 Packers sit atop the NFC North, and are hoping to earn the No. 1 seed in the NFC. 

The news about Cousins came after Colts quarterback Carson Wentz was placed on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday. His status for Sunday’s game against the Raiders is unclear.