Sources: Cousins tests positive, out vs. Packers

    Covered the 49ers, Raiders and Warriors for the San Jose Mercury News. She joined ESPN in 2017.

EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings placed quarterback Kirk Cousins on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday, the team announced. Cousins, who is unvaccinated, will not be eligible to play at Green Bay on Sunday night.

Cousins experienced symptoms, self-reported and then tested positive for the virus, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Vikings activated backup quarterback Sean Mannion on Friday after he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list hours before Minnesota’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 16. Mannion, who is vaccinated, was “sick,” according to Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.

Mannion is expected to start against the Packers. Minnesota signed Kyle Sloter — who spent the 2021 season on Las Vegas’ practice squad — earlier this week while Mannion remained on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and rookie Kellen Mond rounds out the quarterback depth chart.

Mannion, a career No. 2 quarterback, has started only two games over his seven-year NFL career: a Week 17 loss in 2017 to the San Francisco 49ers while a member of the Rams and a Week 17 loss to the Chicago Bears with Minnesota in 2019. In both instances, the Rams and Vikings had already locked up postseason bids and rested most of their starters.

If Mannion throws a touchdown pass against the Packers, it will be the first of his career.

The Vikings face a must-win situation in Green Bay to keep their playoff hopes alive. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, Minnesota’s chances of making the playoffs increase to 46% with a win over the Packers and drop to 2% with a loss.

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