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Vikings name eight captains, including Kirk Cousins

Mike Florio and Chris Simms head north to discuss how they think the NFC North will play out during the 2022 NFL season as half the teams in the division sport new head coaches.

Much has changed in Minnesota from 2021 to 2022. One thing remains the same. The franchise has opted to go with eight captains.

O’Connell named eight captains on Monday. Via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the first-year coach said that 20 players received votes.

The captains are quarterback Kirk Cousins, running back Dalvin Cook, receiver Adam Thielen, fullback C.J. Ham (special teams), linebacker Eric Kendricks, tackle Brian O’Neill, cornerback Patrick Peterson, and safety Harrison Smith.

Curiously omitted is receiver Justin Jefferson, who ranks as one of the best players in the league. But he’s entering only his third NFL season. With Cousins, Cook, and Thielen still going strong, it was apparently hard for Jefferson to bust through.

Seven of the eight captains are the same as they were in 2021, with Kendricks replacing linebacker Anthony Barr, who signed with the Cowboys.