Did Kirk Cousins just save Mike Zimmer’s job with the Vikings?

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /

Will the unavailability of Kirk Cousins vs. the Green Bay Packers benefit the chances of Mike Zimmer sticking around with the Minnesota Vikings in 2022?

On the final day of 2021, the Minnesota Vikings and head coach Mike Zimmer were handed the news that the team would be without Kirk Cousins for this weekend’s NFC North showdown against the Green Bay Packers thanks to the quarterback testing positive for COVID-19.

With the Vikings right on the outside of the NFC playoff picture, a win on Sunday is desperately needed in order for them to stay in the hunt for a postseason berth. Without Cousins in the lineup, Minnesota’s chances for a victory this week have drastically decreased.

Before the news about their quarterback, the Vikings were 6.5-point underdogs to the Packers. Since Cousins has been ruled out, however, Minnesota has now become a 13-point underdog to Green Bay according to the latest odds from WynnBET.

How Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer could benefit from the unavailability of Kirk Cousins

Sunday against the Packers is an extremely important game for the Vikings, and when he’s needed the most this season, Cousins won’t even be in the stadium.

Yes, both vaccinated and unvaccinated players around the NFL have recently been testing positive for COVID-19. However, a vaccinated player still has the opportunity to return to the field shortly after a positive test, while someone who is unvaccinated has to be away from the team for a minimum of five days.

Under the recently updated COVID-19 protocols in the NFL, vaccinated players can return to their teams sooner than five days “as soon as they test negative, either with two tests taken at the same time, or in combination with a cycle threshold (CT) test reading that indicates they are no longer contagious,” according to ESPN.

Knowing this, it’s still fair to criticize Cousins for not doing everything he possibly could to be available for his team because if he were vaccinated, he would actually still have a chance of playing this week in Green Bay.

Cousins has the right to not get the COVID-19 vaccine and that is completely fine. But it’s hard to view him as a quarterback who will do whatever it takes for the team that has paid him almost $100 million when he doesn’t choose the option that could get him back on the field as quickly as possible if he were to test positive for the virus.

With there being some thoughts going around recently that Minnesota’s owners will likely choose to stick with either Cousins or Zimmer in 2022 and not both, the quarterback not being available for the team’s most important game of the season probably isn’t going to help his chances to stay next year.

Say what you will about the Vikings’ recent struggles under Zimmer, the head coach has always put the team first before everything, including his own health. Can the same be said about Cousins?

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