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Haunting win for Vikings at Lambeau as Kirk Cousins is injured

Cousins left the game in the fourth quarter with a non-contact injury.
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Scary season is upon the Minnesota Vikings as they may have to carve a path forward without quarterback Kirk Cousins, who left Sunday's 24-10 victory over the Packers at Lambeau Field with a non-contact injury – and there are fears that it could be season-ending. 

Cousins, who passed for 274 yards and two touchdowns before the injury, hopped off the field after planting his right foot into the ground with the Vikings driving in the fourth quarter. He hopped off the field and was aided to the medical tent by two trainers before eventually being carted to the locker room. 

"We are fearing – currently he's being evaluated and will be into tomorrow – we are fearing an Achilles injury. The severity of that, I do not know at this point but I know that's what our fear is in the moment and we'll confirm that as soon as possible," head coach Kevin O'Connell said. 

The 35-year-old quarterback's touchdown passes to tight end T.J. Hockenson and wide receiver Jordan Addison helped the Vikings build a 24-3 lead that was enough to hold off a disjointed Green Bay offense that struggled to the move ball in a penalty-filled game. 

Minnesota has won three straight to get back to .500 at 4-4 and now they face major questions ahead of Tuesday's NFL trade deadline which are even more complicated with Cousins's injury. 

Here's how the game unfolded... 

Minnesota had no trouble moving the ball in the first quarter, with their opening drive getting into Green Bay territory before Kevin O'Connell decided to kick rather than go for it on 4th-and-1 and the result was a missed field goal from 42 yards by Greg Joseph. 

On the second offensive possession, Minnesota used a pair of 15-yard penalties to cruise into Packers territory before Cousins hit Hockenson for a 23-yard gain down to the Green Bay 4-yard line. A delay of game moved the Vikings back five yards but two runs later Cam Akers was in the end zone for minnesota's first rushing touchdown of the season. 

The third offensive possession stalled in the red zone and this time Joseph connected on a 25-yard field goal to put Minnesota on top 10-0 early in the second quarter. 

Green Bay meanwhile went three-and-out on four straight possessions to start the game and didn't pick up a first down until there was 3:36 left in the first half. 

The Vikings then began to dominate as Jordan Love was intercepted by safety Josh Metelluss, who ripped the ball away from Jayden Reed and returned it 40 yards to the Green Bay 20. On the next play, Addison lined up in the backfield and then burned Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander for a 20-yard touchdown catch on a Cousins dime. 

Addison has seven touchdowns in eight games as a rookie. That equals the number of touchdown catches Justin Jefferson had during his rookie season in 2020. Randy Moss owns the NFL record for most receiving touchdowns by a rookie with 17 in 1998. The next highest touchdown total for a rookie wide receiver is 13 by J'Marr Chase (2021), John Jefferson (1978) and Billy Howton (1952). 

Trailing 24-3, the Packers responded with a productive drive and got to the 1-yard line after a pass interference call on Vikings cornerback Akayleb Evans, and on 4th-and-goal – the 14th play of the drive – Love found Romeo Doubs for a touchdown to cut into the deficit. 

In the fourth quarter, the Vikings moved the ball into the red zone before Cousins sacked on second down and then he suffered a non-contact injury to his right ankle. Minnesota's ensuing field goal try was blocked by the Packers. 

Minnesota defense held firm and forced a turnover on downs, giving Jaren Hall, the rookie fifth-round pick, a chance to make his NFL regular season debut. It didn't go well right away as he was sacked and fumbled on his third play, with the Packers recovering at the Vikings 15-yard line. But again, the defense forced a turnover on downs. 

Up next: Vikings at Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Nov. 5 at 12 p.m. CT.