MRI Confirms the Worst: Kirk Cousins’ 2023 Season Is Over

Sunday’s win over the Green Bay Packers came with a very painful caveat. During the fourth quarter of the game, Kirk Cousins dropped back to pass before crumpling to the ground in agony.

Cousins limped his way over to the sideline before getting onto a cart and going back to the locker room. Shortly thereafter, Minnesota quickly ruled the QB out with an ankle injury, and fears arose that the injury would be an Achilles, thus ending his season.

On Monday, those fears were officially realized. The Vikings QB had an MRI done, and the MRI confirmed that Cousins had indeed suffered a torn Achilles and will be out for the remainder of the season.

MRI Confirms Kirk Cousins’ 2023 Season Is Over

Kirk Cousins
Sep 14, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws for a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The team took to social media and posted an update regarding the status of their QB1, writing, “Kirk Cousins underwent an MRI this morning at Twin Cities Orthopedics that confirmed an Achilles tendon tear. The timeline and details of his upcoming surgery will be determined this week. The team will continue to provide updates.”

For a Vikings team that was riding high prior to the injury, this is about as brutal of news as they can get. Now at 4-4 and in the thick of an NFC playoff race, they will have to find a way to navigate the remaining nine games without one of the steadiest QB presences in the league.

The worst part of this injury is the fact that Cousins had been playing some of the best football of his career. Through eight games, he completed 69.5% of his passes for 2318 yards, 18 TDs, and just 5 interceptions.

Nov 3, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Cousins was on his way towards making a case for being in the MVP conversation. His passing yardage total ranks second in the league, and his passing TD total is tied for first. He helped navigate the Vikings to a three-game winning streak and got Minnesota back into the playoff hunt despite being without Justin Jefferson for any of them, which involved beating two divisional opponents on the road and a huge Monday night victory against the San Francisco 49ers.

Since joining the Vikings in 2018, Cousins has thrown for more yards and TDs than any QB in the league other than Patrick Mahomes. He’s been named a Pro Bowler three times during his tenure in Minnesota and has proven to be a very productive QB at the NFL level.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) signals his team against the San Francisco 49ers in the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Now, the Vikings have to decide who they want to be their quarterback for Week 9 and the rest of the season. Nick Mullens remains on IR with his back injury until at least Week 10, so as of now, Jaren Hall would be in line to start against the Falcons. The rookie stepped into Sunday’s victory in relief of Cousins, and he completed three of his four passes for 23 yards.

Minnesota could also look outside of their organization for a starting QB, or at least some extra depth behind Hall. Some have thrown out names like Andy Dalton, Colt McCoy, or even Carson Wentz as options to bring in.

Regardless, the Vikings face a very difficult task of replacing the QB who has been the center of their franchise for the past five-plus seasons. This is the first time in Cousins’ career that he will miss time with injury, and he has been an iron man throughout his 12 years in the league.

Hopefully, the veteran is able to make a full recovery and return to the field in 2024.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.