49ers-Vikings observe: Cousins is again; Lance is again house


EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — This absence for Kirk Cousins was way more handy for him and the Minnesota Vikings.

After catching COVID-19 and staying house for 5 days according to the present pointers, Cousins returned to observe Wednesday with the Vikings for his or her first of two joint classes with the visiting San Francisco 49ers.

Though Cousins has mentioned all through the offseason that he can’t afford to overlook any on-field repetitions as he continues to take in new head coach Kevin O’Connell’s offense, the timing of his newest quarantine was such that he solely missed one full-speed observe final Thursday.

The Vikings had a light-weight exercise Friday, traveled Saturday and performed Sunday at Las Vegas, the place Cousins was already unlikely to play greater than a collection or two if in any respect. Players have been off Monday.

“I was commenting to my wife that if I was to miss five days and you had to pick which five, strategically we probably picked a good five,” Cousins mentioned.

Last season, when the NFL had strict COVID-19 protocols in place, significantly for unvaccinated gamers, Cousins was sidelined for 5 days early in coaching camp after being deemed a detailed contact as a result of backup Kellen Mond examined constructive. Three of the 4 quarterbacks on the roster on the time needed to sit out.

Then Cousins himself contracted the virus two days earlier than the Jan. 2 recreation at Green Bay and needed to keep house whereas the Vikings misplaced with Sean Mannion at quarterback and have been eradicated from competition for the playoffs.

With Cousins watching from house, Mannion and Mond cut up the snaps nearly evenly within the preseason opener towards the Raiders. Mond has taken steps this summer time towards turning into the second-stringer, after he was firmly entrenched because the No. 3 possibility as a rookie. Mond went 9 for 14 for 119 yards and two touchdowns and not using a sack or a turnover, for no matter these statistics can imply in a meaningless recreation.

“There was some resiliency there,” offensive coordinator Wes Phillips mentioned. “There were a couple plays he’d probably like to have back or maybe would’ve liked to have let go and throw into a window, and you know what? He just kept playing. There was no flinch.”

Cousins performed crisply throughout the full-team drills towards San Francisco’s protection, even uncharacteristically punctuating his catch phrase — “You like that?” — with an expletive after a completion to Adam Thielen.

“I love it when any of my teammates get fired up,” mentioned rookie Ed Ingram, who has moved into the beginning proper guard spot.

The 49ers had defensive lineman Arik Armstead (knee) and cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (hamstring) again on the sector for particular person drills, although security Jimmie Ward is lacking with a hamstring damage that may hold him out for awhile.

The 49ers and Vikings had their share of predictable jawing after sure performs right here and there. Unlike the combat that broke out Wednesday between the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots of their joint observe, there have been no seen issues.

“That’s a pretty big emphasis. We have a deal with Kevin. Anyone throws a punch, we’re going to kick them out of practice,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan mentioned. “We know how important it is to get this practice work in right now.”

Particularly with a younger, new beginning quarterback in Trey Lance.

Just like within the preseason recreation Friday towards Green Bay, Lance hit rookie Danny Gray on a deep ball for an extended landing. The connection Wednesday got here in a 7-on-7 drill towards veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson.

“Some ups and downs,” mentioned Lance, a local of Minnesota who was the third total decide within the 2021 draft out of North Dakota State. “I’m excited to watch it, for sure. It’s just good to go against another defense — 1-on-1s, 7-on-7, red zone, everything against another team.”

The 49ers have been having fun with their prolonged street journey, having arrived Tuesday prematurely of the sport Saturday. Some of them frolicked on the Mall of America the night time earlier than, and Minnesota’s 4-year-old gleaming suburban advanced turned loads of heads from the guests.

“Beautiful facility. Change of scenery,” tight finish George Kittle mentioned. “It’s been a great day.”

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