Vikings miss golden opportunity at starting QB with Kirk Cousins out

With the Minnesota Vikings losing Kirk Cousins to COVID-19, the franchise’s decision at quarterback is a missed opportunity for the future. 

Just when the Minnesota Vikings needed Kirk Cousins and the team’s leaders to rise to the occasion in a fight for a playoff spot, the quarterback let them down without taking the field — largely because he won’t be able to take the field.

Cousins, who is unvaccinated, tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, which will put him out of action in Week 17 in what is a must-win game for Minnesota against the rival Green Bay Packers.

If there was something that could’ve helped the Vikings on a grander scale, though, it was potentially getting a look at the future, namely giving valuable reps to rookie third-round pick Kellen Mond. Instead, for inexplicable reasons, they’re turning to veteran backup Sean Mannion as the starter on Sunday night.

Vikings miss opportunity to evaluate Kellen Mond with Kirk Cousins out

If there’s any sense to starting Sean Mannion over Kellen Mond in the absence of Kirk Cousins, it’s the fact that the former has more experience in NFL practices. However, it’s far from substantial with just 74 career pass attempts, good for no touchdowns and three interceptions.

Sure, this is a must-win game for the Vikings in consideration of the playoff lives but, if we’re being honest, anyone should realize that Minnesota needs to be seeing the bigger picture here. Cousins isn’t the future — and the coaching staff might not be either — so why not see what Mond brings to the table?

Granted, starting a rookie who has a raw arm against the Packers could go awry quickly. But it’s not like hopes are high for Mannion either. More importantly, the Vikings gain nothing from seeing a six-year NFL veteran take the field as the starter, particularly in comparison to the knowledge that could be garnered by seeing what the Texas A&M product is capable of.

In a season that has been lackluster and disappointing in Minnesota, this might be the final straw. Facing adversity with the chance to take a peek at the future, Mike Zimmer, instead, is electing to play it safe in a situation when he most certainly shouldn’t.

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