Vikings' playoff hopes take a hit after Cousins contracts COVID-19

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  • Minnesota Vikings
    Minnesota Vikings
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Kirk Cousins
    Kirk Cousins
    American football quarterback

The Minnesota Vikings will be without quarterback Kirk Cousins for Sunday's crucial contest with the Green Bay Packers.

Cousins has tested positive for coronavirus and has been placed on the Vikings' reserve/COVID-19 list.

As Cousins is unvaccinated, he will have to isolate for 10 days in line with the NFL's protocols, meaning he could also be a doubt for the Week 18 clash with the Chicago Bears on January 9.

Minnesota (7-8) are second behind the Packers (12-3) in the NFC North and head into Week 17 as the eighth seed in the NFC, one spot off the playoffs.

However, backup QB Sean Mannion previously tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, meaning rookie Kellen Mond looks set to start against Green Bay, with Kyle Sloter the alternative.

Cousins has passed for 3,971 yards and 30 touchdowns this season and looked on course to at least match the respective totals from 2020 (4,265 and 35).

He ranks eighth out of the league's quarterbacks for passing yards this season and tied seventh for touchdowns, while only five players to have made 10 appearances or more have less interceptions than Cousins' seven.

The Vikings are looking to win three straight games against the Packers for the second time this century (also a three-game streak from 2008 to 2009), while a third consecutive victory in Green Bay for the first time since 1993 is also in the offing, though they lost to the Los Angeles Rams in their last outing.

Minnesota are the only team this season without a double-digit loss, and have an average margin of defeat of 4.4 points, the smallest in the NFL.

However, Green Bay have won their last two games by a combined total of three points.

The Packers are 5-1 this season in games decided by a field goal or less – those five wins are tied with the Tennessee Titans for the most in the NFL this season.

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