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Cousins says Vikings have underachieved at points

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws a pass during the third quarter against the New Orleans Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Oct. 28, 2018.

EAGAN, Minn. -- When the Minnesota Vikings were 4-3-1 at the midpoint, quarterback Kirk Cousins declined to say he was disappointed. That changed to a degree on Thursday, Dec. 6.

During weekly pregame access with reporters at TCO Performance Center, Cousins acknowledged the Vikings (6-5-1) have not lived up at times to their potential.

“I do think that we can point to some times throughout the year where we’ve underachieved, not because we weren’t giving effort or preparation, but we just haven’t been able to sustain the level of potential in this locker room, play in and play out,” he said.

After advancing to the NFC Championship last season and signing Cousins as a free agent in the spring, the Vikings were considered a strong favorite to contend for their first Super Bowl appearance since 1977.

But the Vikings (6-5-1) have lost three of their past five games, the latest a 24-10 defeat last Sunday at New England. With four regular-season games remaining, they hold No. 6 playoff spot in the NFC. On Monday night, Dec. 10, they play at Seattle (7-5), which is No. 5.

“We’ve shown we’re a really good football team and can do some great things and have a lot to be excited about, and yet have still dropped a couple of games here and there and made some mistakes that get you beat,” Cousins said. “So, the consistency at a high level of play is what we’re looking to do here.”

CFL QB ‘really good’

As far as Vikings center Brett Jones is concerned, Canadian Football League star quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell has a place in the NFL. Whether that’s with the Vikings remains to be seen.

The free agent worked out for Minnesota on Wednesday and reportedly will work out with a number of NFL teams.

“He was a great quarterback for us,” said Jones, who played two seasons with Mitchell during his time with the Calgary Stampeders. “He was able to command the huddle and get guys in the right places. He knew all his reads and always got the ball out on time. He’s just a really good quarterback. I’m excited for him.”

Mitchell recently led the Stampeders to a 27-16 win over the Ottawa Redblacks in the Grey Cup and was named the championship game’s MVP for the second time in his career. He also has twice won the league’s MVP award.

“This is his opportunity, and I think he’s really excited for the prospects of coming up,” Jones said. “He’s a great player. He knows it. … It’s all about being in the right place at the right time and getting the right opportunity.’’

Mitchell, 28, has played seven seasons in the CFL since going undrafted out of Eastern Michigan in 2012.

Reaching out

Rookie defensive tackle Jalyn Holmes put in a call to his former coach at Ohio State when Urban Meyer announced this week he will retire after facing Washington in the Rose Bowl.

“He’s like an extra parent, really,” Holmes said. “I just thanked him for being on top of things and just how he ran the program and helped me get to where I’m at. I just thanked him for being a great coach.”

Holmes played for the Buckeyes from 2014-17, winning a national championship when he was a freshman. Meyer also won national titles at Florida in 2006 and 2008.

“He had a good career,” Holmes said. “He did what he had to do, so it’s time to move on for him.”


Starting linebacker Eric Kendricks (rib) and cornerback Trae Waynes (concussion) sat out practice Thursday. Also out were tight end David Morgan (knee) and wide receiver Chad Beebe (hamstring). Receiver Stefon Diggs was listed as limited.