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Vikings QB Kirk Cousins Sent Home From Practice With Unspecified Illness

Kevin O'Connell confirmed that Cousins wasn't feeling well and that his status for the first preseason game is TBD.
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Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins wasn't feeling well on Thursday morning and was sent home from the facility, according to head coach Kevin O'Connell. Cousins didn't participate in walkthrough and obviously won't return for this afternoon's practice.

O'Connell said they're still in the process of determining what kind of illness Cousins is dealing with. They haven't ruled out the possibility of COVID-19, and Cousins' status for traveling to Las Vegas on Saturday for Minnesota's preseason opener is up in the air.

"I have not gotten much of an update but I do know he was not feeling well earlier," O'Connell told reporters. "We have a process in place where we sent him home and we'll go through our processes internally. I'll get an update for you guys as the week pans out on his availability for the Raiders game."

Whether or not Cousins travels to Vegas on Saturday for Sunday's game will be determined by how he feels in the next couple days and the results of any relevant medical testing. Even if he does go, it's not clear if O'Connell plans on playing Cousins or other starters much — or at all — in this first preseason game.

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"I've kind of had a plan in my mind as far as playing time throughout the preseason for him," O'Connell said about Cousins. "Obviously getting on a plane and doing all the travel stuff anyway, regardless of how he currently feels, what will matter is when it's time to get on the plane Saturday and go. That's obviously something we'll be really cognizant of."

O'Connell didn't yet know if Cousins had tested positive for COVID or not. Last season, the unvaccinated Cousins had two different stints on the NFL's Reserve/COVID list, one in August and one in January that kept him out the team's Week 17 game in Green Bay.

"We're still in that process," O'Connell said. "We're in the process of kind of trying to go through all that, make sure first and foremost 'Hey, what are you feeling, what's going on?' And then go through our in-house process to make sure that A, if it does end up being (COVID), we're on top of it. And if it's not, there's still some other stuff going around that we want to make sure that we're being smart about the other 90 (players), coaches, everything. In-house, we've had a lot of dialogue about that, so we'll be smart and we'll deal with it day by day."

Quarterbacks Kellen Mond and Sean Mannion will take all of the reps during Thursday's padded practice, and potentially during Friday's practice and Sunday's preseason game as well, depending on Cousins' status. These next few days could tell us a lot about the competition between those two players for the Vikings' backup QB job.

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