MRI Confirms Kirk Cousins Tore Achilles; What’s Next for Vikings?

Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins; NFL Achilles Injury

The Minnesota Vikings won in Week 8, but it came at a cost.

Veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles tendon during the victory, an MRI confirmed on Monday.

Roughly five minutes into the fourth quarter versus the Green Bay Packers, Cousins tried to evade pressure but was ultimately sacked by Kenny Clark. Cousins was in extreme pain and hurried to the Vikings’ sideline, unable to put any weight on his right leg. He immediately understood the severity of his injury and was rushed off by the medical staff for further evaluation.


Replay shows the exact moment Cousins’ Achilles appeared to snap as he planted his right foot.

Cousins prematurely finished the game with 23 completions on 31 attempts. He totaled 274 passing yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions while taking two sacks. Jaren Hall, a fifth-round rookie, took over and completed three of four passes for 23 yards. The BYU product also took a sack and lost a fumble.


Minnesota’s victory on Sunday brought them to 4-4 this season, including 4-1 over their last five games. Such a run would not have been possible without the drastically improved play of Cousins. This streak of strong outings would theoretically give a team optimism about its playoff odds and perhaps encourage them to buy at the trade deadline. However, Minnesota’s rest-of-season is uniquely bleak with Cousins done for the year and Justin Jefferson (hamstring) on injured reserve.

If the Vikings do make a move at the trade deadline, it could very well be at quarterback. Any quarterback available via free agency or the trade market likely won’t be able to lead a team to the Super Bowl, but Minnesota might still kick the tires on a steady, reliable veteran.

In terms of free agents, Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan are names to watch.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill could be an appealing trade target for the Vikings. The veteran suffered an ankle injury in Week 6 and was inactive this past week, allowing Will Levis to showcase his talents by tossing four touchdowns in his NFL debut. Another big game on Levis this Thursday could prompt the Titans, who are likely out of playoff contention, to ship away Tannehill at the deadline. He possesses the veteran leadership qualities that Minnesota could be looking for as it replaces Cousins.


A few backup quarterbacks who could be acquired at a lower cost include Washington’s Jacoby Brissett and Atlanta’s Taylor Heinicke.

Another factor that complicates this whole situation is Cousins’ contract. The veteran will hit free agency next offseason, meaning it’s quite possible that he has played his final snap for the Vikings. If Minnesota does decide this is the right time to part ways, perhaps they could embrace the idea of seeing what they have in Hall, shutting down Jefferson for the season, and preparing to make a splash at quarterback via the draft, free agency, or a trade next offseason.

Minnesota has until 4 p.m. EST on Tuesday to make a trade. Otherwise, we could be seeing Hall make his first career start in Week 9 versus the Falcons.

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