Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins leaves training camp due to illness
The Vikings sent Kirk Cousins home from their practice facility Thursday after the quarterback missed his early afternoon walk-through due to illness.
Coach Kevin O’Connell said the team is “still working through” whether Cousins’ illness could be COVID-19. If he tested positive for the virus, NFL guidelines would require him to quarantine for five days.
“We’re still going through all of that, first of all, make sure, ‘How are you feeling? What’s happening?’ ‘ said O’Connell. “And then go through our internal process to make sure that if it ends up being like that [COVID]we’re up to speed, and if not, there are a few other things we want to make sure we’re being smart about with the others  Boys, trainers, everything in house. [Executive player health and performance director] Tyler [Williams] and [head athletic trainer] Uriah [Myrie] and their employees we have talked a lot about it, so we will be smart and deal with it day by day.
O’Connell didn’t say if the Vikings plan to play their starters against the Raiders in Sunday’s preseason opener, but added that Cousins could stay home from the Las Vegas game if he wasn’t feeling well. Even though Cousins’ health wasn’t an issue for the preseason opener, it seems likely he wouldn’t play much.
“I had a plan in mind for preseason playing time for him,” O’Connell said. “Obviously getting on the plane and doing all the travel stuff no matter how he’s feeling right now, what matters is when it’s time to get on the plane and leave on Saturday. That’s a smart thing that we’re going to be really aware of. “
If Cousins doesn’t play Sunday, the Vikings’ decision on a starting quarterback would reveal something about their depth chart, where Kellen Mond and Sean Mannion currently share second place.
On Thursday, the Vikings gave both passers work with the No. 1 in attack. While Mannion found Justin Jefferson for several longer ties, Moon fiddled with a snap, continuing an issue that had surfaced for him throughout camp.
Moon was with the Vikings backups as part of a two-minute practice session at the end of practice, and after Greg Joseph hit a 60-yard field goal to end the session, the sophomore quarterback took on a walk-through shared the offense as O’Connell spoke to him between each snap.
Asked about O’Connell’s message to him ahead of Sunday’s game, Mond said: “I think [it’s] only: ‘Go out, don’t think, just react.’ I know the offense; Just go out there, react, play ball and just have fun.”
It seems likely that the Vikings will have more clarity on the status of Cousins on Friday. His absence Thursday meant more work for the two quarterbacks battling to be his backup.
“I think in the quarterback room we all help each other,” Mannion said. “It’s a lot of hours in there together and we were all together last season. We all prepare there together, help each other to prepare. It’s been like this since I first met Kellen.”
The Vikings’ plans with launchers are still pending
While the Vikings’ starters won’t play much in the preseason opener, O’Connell was unwilling to announce final plans on Thursday, as he said he will make decisions on an individual basis.
“As a coaching staff, we really look at it from a ‘who do we want to see play?’ O’Connell said, “Who do we need to see play in certain competitive situations that we ultimately can’t duplicate and replicate out here in practice or next week against the Niners?” Guys that we’re really counting on this year, who will be out there to do some live snaps and really get into a new role.”
In position groups where players need to work closely together to make pre-snap decisions, like the Vikings’ offensive line, swapping starters could make it difficult to rank players fairly. “We’re definitely going to take that into account because I think that’s important when it comes to really evaluating someone for their potential role on our team,” O’Connell said.
Davis, Ingram continue the competition
Second-round pick Ed Ingram got more work with the Vikings first-team offense on Thursday and continued to rotate with veteran Jesse Davis as right guard in the starting unit. The Vikings began giving Ingram more work with the No. 1 offensive on Wednesday after returning from a day off.
“I was honest when I told you about it [competition at] That inner guard position and really from the start, we kind of let the process and the iterations play themselves out,” O’Connell said. “Ed has earned the right to get some reps with these guys, Jesse has done a really good job so I think healthy competition is what will make our O-Line the best possible group we have for this season seek.