Kirk Cousins has under no circumstances skipped a match in the NFL to personal injury.

His 1st unplanned absence, owing to COVID-19, could not have arrive at a even worse time for the Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings put their commencing quarterback on the COVID-19 reserve listing Friday, two days before their most essential recreation of the year at Eco-friendly Bay.

Cousins, who is unvaccinated, could not be cleared in time to play even if he had been emotion good. The NFL not long ago lowered the required quarantine period of time to five times for asymptomatic players.

The Vikings (7-8) are just one sport out of the last wild-card place in the NFC with two weeks to go. The Packers (12-3) are in control of the major seed and a to start with-round bye.

The Vikings activated backup quarterback Sean Mannion from the COVID-19 reserve record, placing the seventh-12 months veteran in line to commence at frigid Lambeau Industry on Sunday night. Rookie Kellen Mond, who was drafted in the 3rd round, has not formulated swiftly plenty of this time to be deemed.

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“Sean is particularly shiny. He reports like insane. He’s a terrific competitor. He’s place in his time. He’s earned this opportunity, and I assume he’ll be completely ready,” coach Mike Zimmer claimed just after observe on Friday.

Mannion commenced one recreation for the Los Angeles Rams in 2017 and one activity for the Vikings in 2019, when Cousins was held out of the final typical-year game as a precaution prior to the playoffs.

“He’s bought a huge-time arm. He is likely to do just what the coaches convey to him. He is so responsible in that regard. I have bought a good deal of regard for him not only as a human being but as a participant,” said Packers mentor Matt LaFleur, who was Mannion’s offensive coordinator with the Rams in 2017. “They’ve still bought various playmakers on that offense, whether or not they do it through the air or on the ground.”

Right after Minnesota’s last sport, a 30-23 loss to the Rams, Cousins acknowledged the predicament of the case numbers climbing inside the group like all throughout the league.

“It’s in our creating. It is heading to be in our constructing. It’s likely to distribute. We have just obtained to be disciplined to retain our distance and make guaranteed that to the best of our means we don’t get it,” Cousins explained, “but it is heading to be difficult.”

Cousins has 30 landing passes and seven interceptions this period and is fourth in the NFL in passer score (101.3). He is 29 yards passing brief of hitting the 4,000 mark for a sixth time in 7 many years as a starter. Cousins is in his fourth year with the Vikings, who have him signed for 2022 with a $45 million income-cap charge.

Mond and modern addition Kyle Sloter are the other quarterbacks on Minnesota’s roster. When Mond tested constructive in teaching camp, Cousins experienced to sit out five days as an unvaccinated close contact.

Zimmer didn’t disguise his irritation in August with the players who remained unvaccinated, expressing resignation that they would miss game titles at some position all through the year. Plenty of vaccinated gamers have examined positive and had to sit out, of course, but the charge of an infection by the virus among the unvaccinated persons is considerably greater.

Unvaccinated players have to continue on to take a look at every day. Any participant, irrespective of vaccination status, must exam though they have indications. Zimmer claimed he was not confident about signs and symptoms for Cousins.

“We loathe to see that transpire to Kirk, but he’s accomplished a lot of terrific points for us,” Zimmer reported. “You’re always hopeful that none of your gamers get it.”

In Denver, the Broncos scrubbed their common observe for the next straight day and as a substitute held an indoor walkthrough on Friday following 5 extra players have been extra to the COVID-19 listing, which include extensive receiver Jerry Jeudy, outside linebacker Bradley Chubb and inside linebacker Baron Browning. That delivers the range of Broncos on the record to 15.

Mentor Vic Fangio reported he wasn’t guaranteed he’d be equipped to costume the typical 45 gamers on Sunday when the Broncos (7-8) engage in the Chargers (8-7), who are dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak of their individual.

The Broncos will be without the need of two starting up vast receivers (Jeudy and Tim Patrick), three of their leading four edge rushers (Chubb, Jonathon Cooper and Stephen Weatherly), their prime slot cornerback (Bryce Callahan), their dime back (Caden Sterns), their setting up appropriate deal with (Bobby Massie) and their prime swing tackle (Calvin Anderson) and a setting up inside linebacker (Browning).

Also out because of COVID-19 is defensive line mentor Invoice Kollar.

Fangio acknowledged the outbreak compelled him to transform his recreation programs.

“Yeah, obviously it does, but it is not like we’re recreating the wheel in this article,” Fangio mentioned. “We’ve just got to alter some of the plays offensively to in shape our staff, both of those from a expertise standpoint and a expertise standpoint. And the exact same point will happen defensively.”

The Cincinnati Bengals put cornerback Trae Waynes on COVID-19 reserve, ahead of their considerably-predicted recreation in opposition to the AFC-top Kansas Town Chiefs.

All over the league, groups were being experiencing additional gains than losses as players in the pre-Xmas surge of positive tests have begun to trickle back to motion.

The Jacksonville Jaguars activated 7 players from their COVID-19 reserve checklist, such as defensive starters Josh Allen, Myles Jack and Damien Wilson. Allen, Jack and Wilson cleared protocols and will fly with the crew to New England.

The Jaguars (2-13) afterwards additional cornerback Shaquill Griffin to the checklist, bringing their whole to 21 gamers. They also could be without the need of defensive line mentor Tosh Lupoi. Interim coach Darrell Bevell mentioned Friday he hopes middle Brandon Linder and guard Andrew Norwell will be cleared in time to enjoy the Patriots. Jacksonville has a second airplane lined up to acquire players who could continue to distinct protocols as late as Sunday morning.

Griffin, remaining tackle Cam Robinson, returner Jaydon Mickens and safeties Rudy Ford and Andrew Wingard are out. Bevell said rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence will begin, no subject what the offensive line appears to be like like.

Also returning from COVID-19 reserve on Friday:

—Safety Jahleel Addae and working back again Marlon Mack to the Indianapolis Colts.

—Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks to the Chicago Bears.

—Wide receiver Mike Evans to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who set punter Bradley Pinion on the COVID-19 reserve checklist.

—Guard Sean Harlow to the Arizona Cardinals.

—Defensive tackle Tyeler Davison to the Atlanta Falcons.

—Cornerback Kevin King to the Packers.

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