The Minnesota Vikings head into Week 17 with a 7-8 record.
That puts them one game out of the current NFC playoff picture.
Thus, Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers is a must-win to say the least.
Vikings fans have witnessed nail-biters all year and that has included plenty of tough losses.
Perhaps the worst of all came Friday with the news that Kirk Cousins has been placed on the COVID list.
He is officially out for Sunday.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 31, 2021
Cousins was one of the more vocal unvaccinated players in the NFL and has hit the protocol after nearly avoiding it all year.
That leaves Sean Mannion as the starter for the most important game of the year.
Scrambling To Save The Season
This is awful news for everyone in the Vikings organization.
Head coach Mike Zimmer is one person in particular who has to be extremely worried.
His job has been on the line all year and now his team is in danger of missing the postseason.
It is not his fault that Cousins tested positive for COVID.
But all the one-score losses this year that came before this week do fall on his shoulders.
The Vikings have their hopes placed in Mannion, who is coming back from COVID protocols himself.
The #Vikings have officially placed QB Kirk Cousins on the COVID-19 reserve list and activated QB Sean Mannion off it. Mannion is expected to start on Sunday night.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 31, 2021
He has made a total of two starts in his career and has not played since 2019.
As for Cousins, he could still return in Week 18 given the league’s new protocols.
But that may be too late if the Vikings fall to the Packers and get knocked out of playoff contention.
That would set up a rough offseason where Zimmer could be fired, only for Cousins to return on the final year of his deal.
He is set to earn $35 million with a $45 million dead cap hit.
So even if fans are livid, the Cousins era still has at least one year remaining.NEXT: Kirk Cousins Has Proven He Is Not An Average QB