EAGAN, Minnesota – Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins vowed to follow the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols to avoid contracting the virus or to be considered close contact before leaving on Thursday after being activated by the reserve / COVID-19 list returns to training.
Cousins and quarterback Nate Stanley were subjected to the league’s COVID-19 protocols starting Saturday after rookie Kellen Mond tested positive for the virus. Cousins and Stanley were considered close, high-risk contacts and had to isolate themselves for five days before returning to the office.
According to NFL-NFL Players Association protocols, close high-risk contact means a player is also unvaccinated.
Cousins, 32, said he had six negative tests and showed no symptoms of COVID-19 since he last attended Moon on July 30. The veteran quarterback said the size of the quarterback meeting room in Minnesota at the TCO Performance Center was causing the problem.
“Since I’ve been home I’ve learned that the tracers we wear actually showed that I wasn’t ‘close contact’ as I understand it to be close contact that is within a certain number of meters is located, “said Cousins. “The challenge was that the meeting room in which we met was seen as too small to have been in the same room – even if we were clearly separated from each other. So we’ve since moved to a different meeting room, and the way I understand it, if we had met in a bigger room, I wouldn’t have missed the training. Because I was not in close contact, as one thinks to actually be in contact. So it was disappointing to miss the training. In all of my college and professional career, I haven’t missed four trainings. So it was frustrating, disappointing to miss four trainings in a week and not have COVID. “
A league source confirmed to ESPN that the size of Minnesota’s quarterback room helped keep cousins viewed as close contact. The quarterback said his position group is moving to a larger meeting room to avoid this issue in the future.
“As I said to coach [Mike] Zimmer last night I said, ‘We can meet inside, we can meet outside,’ “Cousins said the playoffs and be in playoff games and win playoff games, then we’ll meet there. ‘ We will avoid this close contact with whatever we can do. I didn’t realize that the size of the meeting room was a problem. Otherwise I would have spoken up and said, ‘Of course we can’t meet here.’ “
Cousins called his vaccination decision “a very private health matter” and didn’t want to disclose whether the situation he found himself in that week would induce him to get the vaccine to prevent this problem during the season shows up. The quarterback repeatedly pointed out the need to follow the NFL-NFLPA protocols as the best measure of protection against contracting the virus or as close contact.
“I believe that as the leader of the team, it is very important to follow the protocols to avoid this close contact – because that is what matters,” said Cousins. “Did you have a close contact? So I will be vigilant to avoid close contact. I even thought about it, should I literally put plexiglass around my seat so that something like this could never happen again? I’ve thought about it because I’ll do whatever it takes. We will avoid this close contact and I look forward to playing for every game this year. “
Cousins said he and Zimmer had an “enormous conversation” Wednesday before returning to training. Zimmer, who spoke out about his frustrations with his unvaccinated players, told KFAN-100.3 FM that he had previously spoken to cousins about the league protocols of which Zimmer said the quarterback “don’t believe”.
Cousins tried to set the record right on Thursday: “I believe very much in the minutes.”
The quarterback said he will be “very vigilant” with COVID-19 logs to make sure he isn’t in the same position across the board and being forced to miss a game.
“The protocols are what you have to follow,” said Cousins. “The NFL set these protocols. I want to follow the protocols so I can play on Sunday and that’s my focus. As long as I can’t test positive and don’t have close contact, I’ll be there.” for every game. “
The Washington Post reported that the Vikings have the lowest vaccination rate in the league, at 64.5% of fully vaccinated players. Cousins said he was unaware of his team’s current percentages and didn’t comment directly on whether he believes the Vikings are at a competitive disadvantage.
“I think it’s a fluid situation,” he said. “I think it changes daily.”