Purple Rumor Mill: Case Keenum, Jordan Hicks, The Kirk Super Bowl Theory

Day the Vikings Made
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VikingsTerritory’s Purple Rumor Mill is a two-day chronicle each week. All the week’s rumors are lassoed and plopped in two spots — articles on Saturday and Sunday — for review. Today is the December 23rd edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Case Keenum, Jordan Hicks, The Kirk Super Bowl Theory

Remember — rumors are rumors. What you read on weekends in these pieces is what the world is talking about pertaining to the Vikings, not necessarily items that will come to fruition.

Here’s the first batch of the week.

Rumor: In some capacity, Case Keenum could join the Vikings’ roster in 2024.

kirk super
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This idea was floated by ESPN’s Bill Barnwell.

“[Kevin] O’Connell was the offensive coordinator in Washington as the Commanders cycled through various options, but the only veterans from that group still left in the league are Case Keenum and Josh Johnson. It seems inevitable that Johnson, the ultimate journeyman, will somehow end up playing for the Vikings before the end of the season,” Barnwell explained in a rather detailed publication about upcoming quarterback movement around the NFL.

The Vikings already have Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall under contract for 2024.

Barnwell added about Keenum-to-Vikings, “GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah spent a significant amount of time in San Francisco, both before and during Jimmy Garoppolo’s time by the Bay. He served as the director of football operations with the Browns while Baker Mayfield was having his best pro season, although Mayfield’s time with Cleveland didn’t exactly end on glorious terms. Keenum was also there as a backup, as was Mullens.”

If Kirk Cousins doesn’t return, this theory could somehow materialize, but it’s unlikely. Minnesota has two backup quarterbacks in Mullens and Hall, and if Cousins doesn’t re-sign, the team will probably choose a new passer in Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Rumor: Jordan Hicks was activated from IR and could play this Sunday versus the Lions.

Prominent Viking Nearing
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Linebacker Jordan Hicks was lost in early November to compartment syndrome, missing four games. Minnesota compiled a 1-3 record with him. According to The Athletic’s Alec Lewis, though, Hicks could play this weekend.

“Vikings LB Jordan Hicks said today that he is working to play this weekend. He is about five weeks removed from compartment syndrome, suffered in Week 10 against the Saints. There’s no question his experience would help MN defense down the stretch,” Lewis tweeted Tuesday, five days before Vikings-Lions.

Hicks is trending in the right direction and appears set to rejoin the club on Christmas Eve.

Rumor: Kirk Cousins’ wife believes he could be back for the Super Bowl — if the Vikings get there.

Julie Cousins, wife of Kirk Cousins. Quarterback, featuring Kirk Cousins, is now streaming only on Netflix. The docuseries aired on Netflix in the summer of 2023, showcasing the lives of Cousins, Marcus Mariota, and Patrick Mahomes.

Kirk Cousins talked with ESPN’s Adam Schefter this week, and among the keynote topics was his injury recovery. Cousins tore his Achilles tendon at Lambeau Field on October 29th and isn’t scheduled to return in 2023.

“My wife’s holding out hope that somehow, if Aaron can get back fast and then you add eight weeks — I’d be right there at the Super Bowl. Who knows? We’ll see. This league’s crazy,” Cousins told Schefter this week about his recovery compared to Aaron Rodgers’.

For the Vikings to reach the Super Bowl — a ghost of a chance at the moment, considering the team’s 7-7 record — veteran gunslinger quarterback Nick Mullens would have to play out of his mind henceforth. After auditioning Jaren Hall and Joshua Dobbs as Cousins’ replacements, the Vikings landed on Mullens as the stand-in QB1. Minnesota has the defense for a nifty playoff push, ranking seventh-best leaguewide after 14 games per EPA/Play, but the quarterback spot is iffy. At least per reaching the Super Bowl.

Cousins continued, “Aaron’s injury was about eight weeks ahead of mine. That’s essentially two months. And for him to come back — let’s say he does come back — you basically need to add eight weeks to that for when I could come back. When you do that math, you end up past the Super Bowl.”

“I said to my wife because she said, ‘Do you think you could play in the Super Bowl?’ I said, ‘Well, if they make it to the Super Bowl without me, they’re probably not going to want to play me in that game,'” Cousins concluded with a smile while chatting with Schefter.

The Vikings have +15,000 odds of winning the Super Bowl, about 17th-highest in the NFL. Per winning a title, oddsmakers rank Minnesota among teams like the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.