The Vikings fell to 1-5 after their lopsided loss to the Falcons on Sunday, and Kirk Cousins had another bad game. He ended up leading a few scoring drives in garbage time to make his final numbers not look too bad, but his three early interceptions sealed the loss. It was his second game of the year with three picks, and he now has a league-high ten on the year. Speaking to the media after the game, Cousins acknowledged that his turnover issues could lead to a benching if he doesn’t get things cleaned up. “The reality is if the pace that I’m on, in terms of the interceptions, if that were to continue, I won’t finish the season. I won’t,” Cousins said bluntly, per Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
“There’s a little bit of – you’ve got to improve whether it’s them telling me ‘hey, we’ve got to improve’ or them pulling me, you’ve got to get better and that will be what the rest of the season will be about for me,” the Vikings’ signal-caller said. For what it’s worth, head coach Mike Zimmer said after the game that he didn’t consider benching Cousins during the loss. Minnesota’s backup is former Jared Goff clipboard-holder Sean Mannion, who isn’t exactly the most appealing second-string option. Cousins signed an extension back in March that has him under contract through the 2022 season. His dead cap hit would be $41MM next year, so moving on after this season isn’t really an option. As such, Zimmer is in a pretty tight bind if Cousins keeps playing like this.
Here’s more from the NFC North:
- The Packers worked out kicker Giorgio Tavecchio earlier this week, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). There’s no indication there’s any problem with Mason Crosby, so this was probably just Green Bay doing some due diligence in the event of an injury of COVID-19 problems. Tavecchio has kicked for the Raiders and Falcons in recent years, and also spent time with the Los Angeles Wildcats of the XFL.
- Tavecchio isn’t the only one the Packers are planning on working out. Green Bay will host linebacker Alvin Jones as soon as he clears the COVID-19 protocols, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Notably, Jones is the win brother of Packers star running back Aaron Jones. A fellow UTEP product, the linebacker spent the past couple years with the Ravens, mostly on injured reserve and the practice squad. He’s yet to appear in a regular season NFL game. “I’m glad he’s going to get his opportunity and get a chance to work out,” Aaron said to the media. “I know he’ll do whatever he needs to do and hopefully he’s on the team with me. I’d love to have that. That’d be a true joy.“
- The Bears improved to 5-1 with their win over the Panthers on Sunday, and they did it without one of their position coaches. Offensive line coach Juan Castillo is away from the team as he self isolates due to a close exposure to someone who is COVID-19 positive, Brad Briggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Castillo is apparently considered high risk, and the positive he was in contact with was someone away from the team and not a player.