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Is there any way Kirk Cousins can play in Week 17 vs. Packers?

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins is going the reserve/COVID-19 list. We take a look at if he has a chance to play in Week 17 against the Packers.

Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings throws a pass against the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 26, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings are placing quarterback Kirk Cousins on the reserve/COVID-19 list heading into their Week 17 Sunday Night Football matchup against the Green Bay Packers. Multiple reports dropped Friday morning close to 11 a.m. with the news.

Is it possible for Kirk Cousins to play in Week 17 vs. Vikings?

tl;dr: NO

Cousins is unvaccinated, which means he has to miss a minimum of five days regardless of whether this is a positive test or a close contact situation. The NFL updated its protocols to allow for unvaccinated players to return within five days if they were not showing symptoms for the prior 24 hours, but it still required a five-day absence. Even if this were backdated to Thursday, Cousins wouldn’t be eligible to return until Monday at the earliest.

This is a huge blow to the Vikings’ limited playoff chances. Minnesota is 7-8 and sitting in eighth place in the NFC. They are a game back of the Eagles and 49ers for the final two playoff spots. They need a win vs. the Vikings plus help to have a shot at a wild card berth.

Their quarterback depth chart currently includes Kellen Mond and Kyle Sloter on the 53-man roster and Sean Mannion on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Mannion is eligible to come off the list ahead of Sunday’s game and would be the starter if active.