Vikings QB Kirk Cousins returns from COVID protocol

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins returned from the COVID-19 list to practice with Minnesota on Thursday.

Cousins was shut down as a close contact of rookie quarterback Kellen Mond. Because Mond isn’t vaccinated, he’ll need to miss additional time.

Cousins and backup quarterback Nate Stanley were deemed high-risk close contacts to Mond. The former Texas A&M quarterback tested positive for the virus. Stanley is also due back Thursday after isolating.

Jake Browning has been the team’s No. 1 quarterback this week.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer gritted his teeth in response to questions about where Mond stands in his back-to-work schedule.

Unvaccinated players, such as Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, are required to miss a minimum of 10 days after a positive test.

“We could put this thing to bed if we’d all do this, but it is what it is,” Zimmer said Monday.