Vikings starting quarterback Kirk Cousins has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Sunday's preseason opener against the Raiders, head coach Kevin O'Connell announced on Friday.
O'Connell said Cousins is feeling fine, has limited symptoms, and can return as soon as Tuesday morning. This news comes after he was sent home from the Vikings' facility on Thursday morning because he didn't feel well.
The NFL and NFLPA dropped their COVID protocols this year, but Cousins reported his own symptoms and the Vikings handled it with an in-house process, O'Connell said.
With Cousins not making the trip to Las Vegas, the Vikings will have two quarterbacks — Kellen Mond and Sean Mannion — available against the Raiders. O'Connell declined to say which one would get the start but said either way, both will play a lot.
This game is a big opportunity for either Mond or Mannion to impress and jump ahead in the backup quarterback competition. If neither plays well in this game and going forward, it's possible the Vikings would look to add another quarterback from outside their building before the season starts.
Cousins went on the NFL's Reserve/COVID list twice last season, once in August and once in January.
The Vikings host the 49ers for joint practices in Minnesota next week, and Cousins will be back by then if nothing changes with his symptoms.
The Vikings and Raiders are the final game of Week 1 of the preseason, kicking off at 3:25 p.m. central time (1:25 local time) on Sunday afternoon.
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