With COVID-19 protocols expected to keep three Vikings quarterbacks out of practice to start this week, the team has been scouring for potential replacements.
Sources said Sunday that Case Cookus and former St. John’s star Jackson Erdmann, a Rosemount native, will work out Monday with Minnesota.
Cookus went undrafted in 2020 out of Northern Arizona and spent some offseason time last year with the New York Giants and last May with the Denver Broncos. He has been considered a more highly touted player than Erdmann, who had worked out July 24 with the Vikings when a quarterback was needed to throw to wide receiver Dede Westbrook, who worked out that day before signing on July 25.
For a Saturday night practice, the Vikings were without starting quarterback Kirk Cousins and reserves Kellen Mond and Nate Stanley. Mond tested positive for COVID-19 and Cousins and Stanley were deemed high-risk close contacts. Cousins and Stanley are expected to have to be quarantined for at least five days.
Jake Browning was the only quarterback available Saturday and he looked good. According to unofficial stats compiled by Vikings.com, he completed 26 of 37 passes.
The Vikings did not practice on Sunday. On Monday, they will practice for the first time in pads.
A source said Cookus has been said to be in good shape, but the Vikings want to evaluate him before possibly signing him. If all goes well with his workout, the source said he would be ready to practice on Monday.
As a senior at Northern Arizona in 2019, Cookus completed 290 of 481 passes for 4,095 yards with 31 touchdowns and seven interceptions. After being undrafted, he was with the Giants last year from April 28 to Aug. 2. This year, he was with the Broncos from May 17-20.
Erdmann threw for 5,040 yards and 47 touchdowns for the Johnnies in 2019. He went undrafted in 2020 and never has signed with NFL team.
Find the right guard
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said the competition is “basically open” on who will start at right guard.
Dakota Dozier and Oli Udoh have been splitting time on the first team, with Dozier getting the nod in Saturday’s practice. Zimmer also named Dru Samia as a candidate.
“Those three guys are trying to find out where we go,” said Zimmer, who added that he has been “impressed with Udoh,” who mostly had been a tackle.
Zimmer did not name rookie Wyatt Davis as a candidate. Davis missed practice Saturday along with Cousins, Mond and Stanley. That came after he was used Friday at center for some snaps to Mond, and was in close contact with him.
Zimmer said Davis was playing center due to Cohl Cabral having missed practice time with an undisclosed injury.
Richardson's odd No. 9
Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson is wearing No. 9 in training camp, but linemen can’t wear that number in the regular season. More numbers will be become available for Richardson to switch to when some players are cut.
Richardson wouldn’t offer any hints on what number he might like. He did joke about trying to keep No. 9.
“Maybe I’ll have to take a fine,” he said.
Zimmer led a Skol chant after Saturday’s practice and then told the crowd, “We’re going to have a heck of a football team.” … Asked if there is anything uneasy between vaccinated and unvaccinated players on the Vikings, defensive end Danielle Hunter said, “We’re still the same group of guys. We love each other.” … Vikings running back Dalvin Cook graduated Friday from Florida State. He couldn’t go to the ceremony due to training camp but tweeted out a picture with him in a cap and gown.