Following Cousins’ injury, Minnesota went 3-6 in their final nine games without him, with Josh Dobbs, Jaren Hall, and Nick Mullens filling in at quarterback.

Cousins is due to hit free agency in March, and while Vikings management has shown an interest in bringing him back for a seventh season, much of that decision could be influenced by his recovery timeline.

For Vikings fans expecting Cousins would return in 2024, the most recent update on his injury timeline is encouraging.

Prior to the injury, Cousins was arguably playing the best football of his career and was on pace to throw for over 5000 yards and 38 TDs. Both totals would have been career-highs for the 35-year-old QB.

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

During Minnesota’s end-of-season press conference, GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah made it clear that he intends to try and bring Cousins back in 2024.

“I thought we were playing really good football before [Kirk] got injured, and it’s the most important position in sports now. Ultimately, it always comes down to can you find an agreement that works for both sides and all of those things, but as a player, it’s certainly my intention to have him back here.”

Players like Justin Jefferson have been very clear that they, too, want Cousins back in a Vikings uniform next season, and the quarterback echoed the sentiment to Maadi on Wednesday.

“I appreciate their support, and the feelings are mutual in terms of being so grateful that I’ve gotten to play with Justin and been coached by the great coaches I’ve had,” Cousins said. “So, it goes both ways. And, I think that’s part of the feeling in Minnesota for a while has been we have a good locker room and we all really enjoy the group we have and the work we’ve done together.”

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Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) and quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

In the end, the decision to bring Cousins back ultimately will come down to the contract. The Vikings have a number of areas on their roster that must improve in 2024, and they can only spend so much money to keep the quarterback around.

Cousins spoke with Rob Maadi of the Associated Press on Wednesday, and according to the QB, he continues to plan on being ready to go by the time OTAs roll around in May.

“My expectation is that I’ll be able to practice during OTAs as normal,” Cousins said. “But the question will be, is it worth it? And so you have to weigh that a little bit. But my goal would be that I’m saying I can go and you guys are going to have to stop me because I feel that good. If I’m not allowed into the full-team drills, I know I can do basically a full-speed practice on the field next to it is pretty much my goal.”

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