New Reality Coming from Vikings Quarterbacks

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The Minnesota Vikings had their fears confirmed on Monday when it was revealed Kirk Cousins did, in fact, tear his Achilles. Now needing to replace him with a different signal caller, the position will see a level of uncertainty it hasn’t in quite some time.

New Reality Coming from Vikings Quarterbacks

Following a six-year run with Washington, Kirk Cousins became the Minnesota Vikings starting quarterback in 2018. Since joining the organization, there have been 90 regular season games in that stretch. Cousins has started all of them but two. He missed a game with Covid and also sat out of a contest with the playoffs locked up. Otherwise, when the Vikings have played, he has been out there.

New Reality Coming
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The two games Cousins did not start for Minnesota were quarterbacked by the same player, Sean Mannion. Neither of them went well, and Mannion has looked cooked virtually every time he has taken the field. Despite being on the Vikings practice squad and a potential option to be elevated as Jaren Hall’s backup in Week 9, Minnesota should want to keep Mannion as far from the field as possible.

Given Cousins’ contractual situation, in that he doesn’t seem likely to factor into Minnesota’s plans next season, Kevin O’Connell’s team will now see a new reality. Unless Hall steps in and immediately becomes the guy, the Vikings will experience a carousel at the most critical position until they can land a new option.

For the rest of the 2023 season, O’Connell could give starts to Hall, Mannion, and Nick Mullens when he is activated from injured reserve. Of them, only the first option has the possibility of becoming a long-term option. Beyond that, Minnesota will look to continue down the path of their competitive rebuild and find their quarterback of the future. The earliest scenario for that to play out is the 2024 NFL Draft.

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In taking a quarterback during April’s draft, it would seem logical that the player would be eased into action. Minnesota won’t be in the running for the first overall pick, and short of Caleb Williams, a Week 1 starter may be a far-fetched idea for an incoming rookie. Even with a first-round talent, the Vikings could let that player sit a few weeks behind a bridge player.

There is no more important position on a football field than the quarterback, and for the last six years, Minnesota has known who their guy was. Going forward, there has never been less certainty, and the guy could change on a weekly basis for at least the short-term future. That’s an unfortunate reality and one that came without warning. Cousins wasn’t supposed to see it end like this, and nobody wanted this result.

Expectations for
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The sooner Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell can find a long-term replacement for Cousins, the better. The less ambiguity at the position and more consistency that can be provided, the better. Minnesota has an offensive line capable of protecting whoever is under center, and the skill position players can exploit opposing defenses. Now, they just need to find someone capable of orchestrating it all.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.