Head coach Kevin OConnell is open to welcoming quarterback Kirk Cousins back to the Minnesota Vikings this offseason after Cousins suffered a campaign-ending torn Achilles this past Sunday.
“You guys know how I feel about Kirk,” OConnell told reporters on Tuesday, per Kevin Seifert of ESPN. “Kirk knows how I feel about Kirk. I think he was playing as well as anybody in the National Football League and one of the hardest parts about coping with this [is] the fact that he was experiencing his best season in the National Football League and where we could have gone as a team.”
Cousins turned 35 years old in August, is out of contract at the end of the season and confirmed Wednesday he underwent surgery to repair his injury. While New York Jets signal-caller Aaron Rodgers has made a remarkable recovery since going down with a similar setback in September, its far too early to know where Cousins will be in his rehab when the new NFL year opens in March.
According to ESPN stats, Cousins was tied for first in the league with 18 touchdown passes, second with 2,331 passing yards and ranked third among qualified players with a 103.8 passer rating. The Vikings, meanwhile, reacted to his injury by acquiring journeyman Joshua Dobbs from the Arizona Cardinals ahead of Tuesdays trade deadline.
ESPNs Dan Graziano noted on Wednesday that Dobbs has “a chance to win the starters job in Minnesota.” It sounds like OConnell hopes Dobbs will merely keep Cousins seat warm through January.
“Kirk Cousins is going to be healthy again,” OConnell added during his comments. “I know hes going to be a free agent after this season, but Kirk knows how I feel about him and that will be something that hopefully works itself out.”
Cousins is quite popular among Minnesota teammates such as All-Pro wide receiver Justin Jefferson but will temporarily be replaced atop the depth chart by rookie Jaren Hall. Unless Hall turns into a revelation for the 4-4 Vikings starting with this Sundays game at the 4-4 Atlanta Falcons, bringing Cousins back next spring or summer could be Minnesotas best option regarding the sports most important position for the 2024 season.