Kirk Cousins has a lot of work to get in before the regular season starts with the Minnesota Vikings in order to be the franchise quarterback that they paid handsomely for this offseason, but one of the team's biggest concerns has ballooned into a big-time question mark that should probably make the team think twice about letting him suit up in the preseason debut against the Denver Broncos.

The offensive line was set to be one of the biggest question marks on this football team heading into the 2018 season and those questions got even harder to answer this week with the news that starting left guard Nick Easton is likely lost for the season after undergoing surgery for a herniated disk in his neck. Heading into Saturday night's preseason opener, that leaves the first-team offense without its left guard, center with Pat Elflein still on the PUP list and right tackle/guard Mike Remmers likely not playing, either. Now, the Vikings and head coach Mike Zimmer want to get guys like Tom Compton, Cornelius Edison and Danny Isidora as many snaps as they can in case they are thrown into the fire long-term, but it may be wise to let Cousins sit this one out.

Once the front office pledged to spend $28 million a season on a quarterback, the No. 1 priority had to be protecting him and surrounding him with talent that will help him thrive, which in turn helps the Vikings thrive and fulfill their potential as one of the favorites to win it all this season. He has the playmakers around him, but the protection up front leaves a lot to be desired and they missed an opportunity to address it more completely this offseason. Now the best way for them to protect their investment would be to encase him in bubble wrap and at least wait this thing out for at least one more week as things settle down.

That would likely be a frustrating turn of events for Cousins, who has stated on numerous occasions that he wants as many reps as humanly possible as he learns a new offense and a new team, so a betting man would assume that his need for that will ultimately win out and that he will at least suit up for a series or two this weekend. However, Vikings fans are all too familiar with the "when it rains, it pours" mentality when it comes to injuries and there may not be much of a reason to risk Cousins' long-term health if he cannot be protected, especially with the Broncos planning on playing star pass rusher Von Miller and much of their starting defense on Saturday.

(Training camp is in full swing and position battles are being decided on the field for the Minnesota Vikings --Don't miss out on the action. Sign up for our FREE newsletter today!)

There are a lot of storylines in play in this game with the Broncos making a push for Cousins at one point and ultimately bringing in former Vikings quarterback Case Keenum, who was the man that led the team to the NFC title game out of nowhere last season. Both guys are going to want to prove that they were the better investment, but pride is not enough of a reason to risk it.

Minnesota feels that it has a capable backup that can win them games in Trevor Siemian, who was a former starter with the Broncos the last two seasons, so they should let him go out and have his day against his former team. Third-string quarterback Kyle Sloter has a score to settle in Denver, as well, with him being cut as an undrafted rookie at the end of a great preseason for him last year. With both of those guys having a history, let them play it out.

The Vikings may have to get used to a reality where their offensive line is not that good this season and Cousins cannot be hid from that forever, but there is still a month to go before the regular season opens. Getting this re-tooled and pieced together offensive line time to get acclimated before then could be more of a key than Cousins getting all of the reps he wants, because there likely would not be many in the first week of the preseason anyways.