NFL teams
Courtney Cronin, ESPN Staff Writer 57d

Source: Minnesota Vikings QB Kellen Mond tests positive for COVID-19; Kirk Cousins a high-risk close contact

NFL, Minnesota Vikings

EAGAN, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings were without multiple players for Saturday evening's practice at TCO Stadium due to a COVID-19 interruption. 

Vikings rookie quarterback Kellen Mond tested positive for COVID-19, a league source confirmed to ESPN, and as a result, fellow quarterbacks Kirk Cousins and Nate Stanley -- both deemed high-risk close contacts, per a source -- missed Saturday's practice and will have to abide by a five-day quarantine before returning to training camp.

According to the protocols put together this summer by the NFL and players' union, high-risk close contacts designate that a player is not fully vaccinated.

"You know, quite honestly, after everything we went through last year, I'm not surprised one bit," coach Mike Zimmer said when asked how he felt about missing players due to COVID issues. "I am disappointed that this happened. I'm frustrated, not just with my football players who didn't get vaccinated, but I'm frustrated with everybody [who didn't]. We'll just do the best we can. It's just disappointing."

Jake Browning, who is fully vaccinated according to Zimmer, was Minnesota's only quarterback available for Saturday's practice. Browning signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and was a member of Minnesota's practice squad the past two seasons. He is competing for the backup job behind Cousins.

"Jake's really smart," Zimmer said. "He's vaccinated, that helps to be the backup. So as we move forward here, he's gonna get a ton of reps tonight. ... He's out there, he's available, that's important. It's important to be available when you're playing football, a team sport."

Zimmer did not specify how many additional players would have to miss Saturday's practice and if the Vikings would be placing anyone on the COVID-19 reserve list. The Vikings coach did, however, say the team did not consider cancelling the evening practice.

"Something like this happens a day before a game that has a chance to get you to the playoffs or something like that ... this Delta variant is rough," Zimmer said. "You can see the cases going up every single day now. That's why, for the sake of everybody's health, I think [getting vaccinated is] important. But some people don't understand, I guess."

NFL Network was first to report Mond's positive test for COVID-19 and Cousins' high-risk close contact designation.

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