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The Vikings beat the Packers in Week 8, but they left the victory with serious concerns about their franchise quarterback, Kirk Cousins.
Cousins suffered a lower leg injury in the fourth quarter of the Vikings-Packers game in Week 8. He tried to scramble away from a sack but was ultimately brought to the ground.
While Cousins was able to get up, his efforts to walk off the field were labored. And as he approached the bench, Cousins was simply hopping on one leg to get there.
Kirk Cousins hobbled to the sidelines and his currently being looked at after being hit on the previous play. pic.twitter.com/YpAW42Ese6
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 29, 2023
What is Kirk Cousins’ injury?
The Vikings fear that Cousins suffered an Achilles during their 24-10 win over the Packers. Coach Kevin O’Connell announced that Cousins would have an MRI to confirm the diagnosis on Monday.
“We’re thinking about our leader, our guy right now,” O’Connell said of Cousins.
It isn’t a surprise that Cousins’ injury was of a severe variety. He appeared to be in agony on the sidelines after suffering the injury, and the Vikings quickly ruled him out for the remainder of the contest. He was carted to the locker room with what the team originally called an ankle injury.
The NFL doctors of X (formerly Twitter) quickly expressed concern about the health of Cousins’ Achilles tendon. Many accounts looking at the injury determined that the Minnesota quarterback may have suffered an injury similar to the one that Aaron Rodgers endured back in Week 1.
Kirk Cousins –
Saw it from another angle too.
High concern for Achilles for Cousins.
This zoomed in view increases that concern.
— Jeff Mueller, PT, DPT (@jmthrivept) October 29, 2023
The Vikings’ announcement seems to confirm their suspicions that this injury could be serious. O’Connell said that the team would figure out a plan at quarterback “when” — not if — the MRI confirms that Cousins has torn his Achilles.
As such, it certainly sounds like Cousins’ season is over. And if it is, he will miss a game due to injury for the first time during his 12-year NFL career. He had only previously missed a game due to COVID.
Before exiting, Cousins had completed 23 of 31 passes for 274 yards and two touchdowns. He was looking sharp against the Packers’ defense and had a 122.7 passer rating for the afternoon.
Who is the Vikings backup quarterback?
Jaren Hall is currently the Vikings’ backup quarterback. The fifth-round rookie from BYU began the season on the team’s 53-man roster but was the team’s third-string quarterback.
However, the team’s normal backup quarterback, Nick Mullens, suffered a back injury that landed him on IR in Week 6. As such, Hall was elevated to the backup quarterback role as the only other QB on the 53-man roster.
The Vikings will likely sign another quarterback to compete with Hall if Cousins’ injury is of the long-term variety, but as it stands, he is the last man standing in Minnesota’s quarterback room.
Vikings QB depth chart
Here’s what the Vikings’ depth chart looks like when all of their four quarterbacks are healthy:
Hall is the only healthy quarterback remaining on the Vikings’ 53-man roster, but they do have veteran quarterback Sean Mannion on the practice squad. He would presumably elevated to serve as Hall’s backup if Cousins is out long-term.
Either way, this is a less-than-ideal situation for the Vikings. And while they are sitting at 4-4 on the year, it will be hard for them to make a playoff push with Cousins sidelined.