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Vikings’ Kirk Cousins Has Torn Achilles, To Miss The Rest Game Of Season

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Following the loss of quarterback Kirk Cousins, who sustained a season-ending tear of his right Achilles tendon in Sunday’s 24-10 victory over the Green Bay Packers, the Minnesota Vikings continued to have active discussions on Monday over the best course of action.

The Vikings revealed the damage on Monday afternoon after an MRI. However, in a statement shortly after, head coach Kevin O’Connell refused to select a starting lineup for Sunday’s trip to the Atlanta Falcons.

He said the team would acquire a quarterback within the next day or two and that they wouldn’t completely rule out the prospect of starting the majority of the season as their new quarterback.

“We’re still working through that,” O’Connell said.

On Sunday at Lambeau Field, rookie Jaren Hall took Cousins’ place. Hall completed three of four throws for 23 yards and lost a fumble on a sack. In what would have usually been a run-heavy part of the game, O’Connell said he called passing plays for Hall primarily to see how Hall would perform, knowing even at that point that Cousins was almost probably out for the season.

“I did want to see Jaren go in the game and function,” O’Connell said. “A lot of the feedback that I got from guys in the huddle is that he was outstanding calling plays. Cadence, snap counts, center-quarterback exchange, those are all things that go through your mind. … I was using some of those opportunities to show Jaren my confidence in him, but also give him some opportunities to play quarterback.

“… We’ll continue Jaren’s process of getting him ready to go each and every week, if he ends up being the guy.”

Due to a back issue, veteran backup Nick Mullens has been placed on injured reserve since October 11. He could make his return as early as Week 10. According to O’Connell, he is unsure if Mullens will be prepared at that time. Sean Mannion, who is on the practice squad, is the only other quarterback on the squad.

Due to a back issue, veteran backup Nick Mullens has been placed on injured reserve since October 11. He could make his return as early as Week 10. According to O’Connell, he is unsure if Mullens will be prepared at that time. Sean Mannion, who is on the practice squad, is the only other quarterback on the squad.

Since joining the organization in January 2022, O’Connell and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah have been working on a plan they have dubbed a “competitive rebuild,” which aims to improve the team’s roster while ensuring that it will be in the playoffs. After a 0-3 start, the Vikings are 4-4, and their remaining schedule is the seventh-easiest in the NFL, per ESPN’s Football Power Index FPI.

With a grin, O’Connell stated that their special position has resulted in proposals and ideas being sent to his cell phone that “you wouldn’t believe.” In response to a question about whether it made sense for the Vikings to spend the money necessary to sign a new starter, O’Connell said it would depend on the player and his likelihood of sticking with the team after this season.

The cousins’ current season is their last one.

Playing in the last season of a deal that expires in March, Cousins led the NFL in passing yards (2,057) and touchdown passes (16) going into Week 8.

In Sunday’s 24-10 victory over the Green Bay Packers, he sustained the injury in the fourth quarter. Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark sacked him as he tried to step up in the pocket because his right leg gave way.

With no weight on his right leg, the cousins leaped off the field. Before the injury, he had completed 23 of 31 throws for 274 yards and two touchdowns.

Hall completed the contest, but according to O’Connell, veteran backup quarterback Nick Mullens (back) might be brought off injured reserve as early as Week 10. Since Mullens’ injury, the Vikings have also included veteran Sean Mannion on their practice squad.

Ever since the Vikings signed Cousins in 2018, they have not had these kinds of conversations, which are common for many NFL teams. In that time, he has only missed two games: one in 2019 while the Vikings rested their starters in preparation for the postseason, and the other in 2021 due to a COVID-19 positive test. During that time, he has tied for the most starts in the NFL with 88 with the Vikings.

With the help of his “dad swag” and his successful performance in the Netflix docuseries “Quarterback,” Cousins has become a beloved player in the NFL this season after being one of its most derided players the previous one.

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