Updated: Jan 4
Vikings Quarterback Kirk Cousins has tested positive and been placed on Reserve/COVID list and will be OUT on Sunday Night's game against the Green Bay Packers with major playoff implications for the Vikings. The Vikings are currently one game behind the 7 seed and a loss would derail their playoff hopes completely.
Kirk Cousins has started 62 games in the purple and gold with a 32-29-1 record. In Kirk's 4 seasons with the team, he has only not started one game, which was a precautionary Week 17 game against the Bears when the Vikings had already clinched the playoffs.
Back-to-back weeks the Vikings are faced with the most important pieces of their offense being unavailable to them in important playoff implicated games. Kirk Cousins in his 10 year NFL career has never missed a game due to injury, but now 10 seasons in he is missing one of the most important games of the year due to testing positive for COVID.
Now the question being asked is what does this mean for the future of the Cousins-Zimmer-led Vikings? Well, when the Vikings ultimately lose to the Packers on Sunday with Sean Mannion set to start, their playoff chances go from a 46% chance to a 2% chance.
Mike Zimmer has been Head Coach of the Vikings since 2014, with an impressive record of 69-54-1, he won the NFC Noth twice in his 8 seasons with the team, appearing in the playoffs three times in total. Zimmer has had an annoying trend with the Vikings making the playoffs every other year, never consistently one year after another. Well, it seems he is finally breaking the trend...but not in the way we would like it to go. This is setting up to be the first time in Mike Zimmer's Head Coaching career where he misses the playoffs back-to-back seasons. With how these last two seasons have played out it is safe to say Zimmer will not be returning in 2022 as the Vikings Head Coach.
For Kirk Cousins, this would be the 3rd season out of his 4 with the team where the Vikings have missed the playoffs and yet again a losing record. Could this be the last of watching Kirk Cousins in purple? Kirk has 1 year remaining on his deal with the Vikings, carrying a $45M cap hit. Ultimately, it would be difficult to cut ties with Kirk immediately after the season, but I think it is safe to say that a new era of Vikings football is brewing and Kirk Cousins will not be a part of it.