In a statement released by the team early Monday afternoon, the Minnesota Vikings announced that star quarterback Kirk Cousins suffered an Achilles tendon tear on Sunday and will miss the rest of the season. “The timeline and details of his upcoming surgery will be determined this week,” the team said.
This is brutal news for the Vikings, who won their third straight game and their fourth in the last five both straight up and against the spread yesterday at Green Bay. Minnesota (4-4 SU, 4-3-1 ATS) beat the Packers 24-10 as a one-point road favorite. With the 34 combined points falling ‘under’ the 41.5-point total, the ‘under’ has now cashed in six straight games to improve to 7-1 overall.
Cousins completed 23-of-31 passes for 274 yards and two touchdowns without an interception at Green Bay. For the season, Cousins has completed 69.5 percent of his throws for 2,331 yards with an 18/5 TD-INT ratio.
The Michigan St. product went into Week 8 leading the NFL in TD passes (16) and was second in passing yards (2,057). Cousins was playing at an extremely high level despite the absence of perennial Pro-Bowl WR Justin Jefferson, who has missed the last three games with an injury.
Minnesota rookie QB Jaren Hall replaced Cousins, completing 3-of-4 passes for 23 yards. Hall had a fantastic collegiate career at BYU. In 31 games, he completed 65.2 percent of his passes for 6,174 yards with a stellar 52/11 career TD-INT ratio.
Unlike Cousins, Hall does have some dual-threat skills. He had 350 rushing yards, three TDs and a 4.1 yards-per-carry average for the Cougars last season. Hall had 800 career rushing yards, nine TDs and a 4.4 YPC average at BYU. He also had four career catches for 41 yards and one TD.
Minnesota head coach Kevin O’Connell wouldn’t commit to Hall as the starter for Sunday’s game at Atlanta. The Vikings went into the year with veteran Nick Mullens as their backup QB. He’s been on injured reserve with a back issue but is available to come off of IR in Week 10.
Minnesota also has veteran QB Sean Mannion on its practice squad. The 31-year-old Mannion has played in 14 career games, going 0-3 in his three career starts. He has a 60.9 career completion percentage, 573 passing yards and a 1/3 TD-INT ratio.
The 28-year-old Mullen is a six-year veteran. He has a 5-12 record in 17 career starts, with eight of those coming in San Francisco as a rookie back in 2018.
Mullens played in four games for the Vikings in 2022, completing 21-of-25 throws (84.0%) for 224 yards with one TD and one interception. He has a 65.3 career completion percentage, 5,085 passing yards and a 27/23 TD-INT ratio.
As of early Monday afternoon, most books had the Falcons installed as five-point home ‘chalk’ with a total of 37. The Vikings, who were one-point ‘dogs at Atlanta on the look-ahead line yesterday morning, are +180 on the money line.
Going into Detroit’s home game tonight vs. Las Vegas on Monday Night Football, the Vikings were 1.5 games behind the Lions for the lead in the AFC North.
The 36-year-old Cousins was in a contract year that expires in March of 2024. Therefore, only time will tell if we’ve seen him play his last game as a Minnesota Viking, but it’s certainly a possibility.