Call 2023 the year of the Achilles injury. It started with Aaron Rodgers ending his season just four plays into his Jets career with an Achilles tear on Monday Night Football. A couple of months later, add Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins to the Achilles club.
On Sunday, Cousins suffered a non-contact injury against the Packers. He hobbled to the bench and was carted back to the locker room. After Minnesota completed their 24-10 victory, head coach Kevin O'Connell gave an update no one wanted to hear.
Cousins likely suffered an Achilles tear. Further testing will have to confirm that but the Achilles is an injury that players and trainers seem to know immediately. That's the way it was with Rodgers and it looks the same for Cousins.
Kirk Cousins injury update: Achilles injury feared
Cousins has never missed a game due to injury in his career, only sitting out because of a positive COVID-19 test.
This one could not have come at a worse time. The Vikings were on their way to turning around the season, improving to 4-4 against the Packers. They've won three games in a row and four of their last five. Now they'll need to decide if they can hand the reigns to rookie Jaren Hall for the rest of the season or bring in someone else to fill the void.
Cousins was 23-of-31 with 274 yards and two touchdowns before the injury. Hall, a rookie out of BYU, went 3-of-4 for 23 yards in relief.
From the player's standpoint, this is even more devastating. Cousins is heading for free agency. His future with the Vikings was already unclear. He is 35 years old and will now be coming off a season-ending injury as he's negotiating a return to Minnesota or a new contract somewhere else.