The Latest: With playoffs secure, Minnesota sits QB Cousins

The Minnesota Vikings are giving quarterback Kirk Cousins the game off since their spot in the playoffs is secured

The Latest on Week 17 in the NFL (all times EST):

1:20 p.m.

With their spot in the playoffs secured, the Minnesota Vikings are giving Kirk Cousins the game off.

Sean Mannion started the opening series at quarterback against Chicago, ending Cousins’ streak of 79 straight starts. The Vikings also had both starting tackles, both starting wide receivers and their top two running backs on the sideline against the Bears.

Cousins has not missed a game since becoming a full-time starter in 2015 with Washington.

The Vikings also sent a backup-heavy lineup onto the field on defense, with their top two linebackers, top two cornerbacks, top two safeties and top two defensive tackles on the sideline.

— Dave Campbell reporting from Minneapolis.


1:10 p.m.

The Panthers held a moment of silence before their game against the New Orleans Saints to honor the memory of Carly McCord, who died in a plane crash on Saturday in Lafayette, Louisiana.

McCord had served as an in-game reporter for the Saints.

She was on a small plane en route to Atlanta for the college football game between LSU and Oklahoma. Her father-in-law is Steve Ensminger, who works as an offensive coordinator for LSU.

The Lions also held a moment of silence before their game for receiver Marvin Jones’ six-month old son, who recently died.


A handful of teams are still fighting for a spot in the NFL playoffs on Sunday during the final week of the regular season.

The Philadelphia Eagles have the edge for the NFC East title after beating Dallas last weekend. If the Eagles can beat the Giants on Sunday, they’re in. If the Eagles lose, the Cowboys could still make the playoffs and partially salvage their disappointing season by beating Washington.

In the AFC, the Tennessee Titans can clinch the final wild-card spot with a win over the Houston Texans. Pittsburgh and Oakland are still alive, but need Tennessee to lose to have a chance. Oakland’s situation is particularly dire, with several results needing to go its way.

Other teams that have already made the playoffs are fighting for positioning, including the right to have a first-round bye or host playoff games. San Francisco travels to Seattle with the NFC West on the line. The 49ers could clinch home-field advantage until the Super Bowl with a win.


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