Vikings' Cousins could make preseason debut behind makeshift O-line
EAGAN, Minn.—Mike Zimmer wouldn't say how much Kirk Cousins will play in his Minnesota Vikings preseason debut Saturday, Aug. 11, at Denver, but he does know one thing.
"When the first offensive line goes out, he's going,'' the Minnesota coach said at training camp. "So it just depends on how I'm feeling at the time.''
Cousins, the quarterback signed last March to a three-year, $84 million contract, isn't expected to play much. But even when the offensive linemen who start Saturday are still in the game, the situation might not be ideal.
The Vikings again practiced Monday, Aug. 6, without three regular starting linemen: center Pat Elflein, right guard Mike Remmers and Nick Easton, who normally is the left guard but had been taking over at center.
Elflein remains on the physically unable to perform list following offseason ankle and shoulder surgeries.
The Vikings do not expect him to practice next week although he could return the following week. He will be out for at least the first two preseason games but the Vikings remain optimistic he will be ready for the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against San Francisco.
Remmers suffered an ankle injury last Tuesday. Zimmer declined to discuss any injury details about Easton, who last took part in a practice last Friday.
For the night scrimmage on Saturday and on Monday, Minnesota's offensive line featured expected starters Riley Reiff at left tackle and Rashod Hill at right tackle and substitutes Cornelius Edison at center, Tom Compton at left guard and Danny Isidora at right guard.
"Edson's a fighter,'' Zimmer said. "He's powerful. Compton is playing like a veteran. Isidora, I thought he was better (Monday). Last week wasn't his best week but we talked about some things, so I think he'll be better.''
Other injured players out Monday were wide receivers Tavarres King and Chad Beebe and running back Roc Thomas. Running back Dalvin Cook, working his way back from a torn left ACL suffered last October, returned after sitting out Saturday for precautionary reasons. ... The Vikings have moved the camp schedule back for Thursday at the TCO Performance Center. Parking lots will open at 9:30 a.m, gates will open at 11:30 a.m., the walk-through will be from 12:30-1:30 p.m., practice will be from 4:45-7 p.m., and gates will close at 7:30 p.m. ... The Vikings on Tuesday will release their first depth chart of the season.