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NFL: Vikings QB Kirk Cousins returns from COVID protocol

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Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins returned from the COVID-19 list to practice with Minnesota on Thursday.

He did not bring with him an apology for being unvaccinated.

Cousins said he wouldn’t have been out had the quarterbacks met in a larger meeting room and is “at peace” with his decision not to have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Cousins was shut down as a close contact of rookie quarterback Kellen Mond, who tested positive for COVID-19. Because Mond isn’t vaccinated, he’ll need to miss additional time.

“It was disappointing to miss practice,” Cousins said. “In my entire college and pro career I have not missed four practices. … I was able to do the best I could with the situation we had. I do believe the protocols work. That’s why I believe I didn’t have COVID after a meeting like that because the mask and the social distancing works.”

Cousins and backup quarterback Nate Stanley were deemed high-risk close contacts to Mond. Stanley also was due back Thursday after isolating.

Jake Browning has been the team’s No. 1 quarterback this week.

“If you test positive for the virus, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, you can’t play in a game,” Cousins said. “You can’t play in a game with COVID regardless of vaccination status. The key will be not being a close contact. That’s why moving to a larger meeting room is what’s so important. As I told to coach (Mike) Zimmer on the phone (Wednesday) … we can meet outside. I said if it means meeting outside under a goalpost in January … if that’s what it takes to get to the playoffs and win playoff games that’s where we’re going to meet.”

Zimmer gritted his teeth in response to questions about where Mond stands in his back-to-work schedule.

Unvaccinated players, such as Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, are required to miss a minimum of 10 days after a positive test.

“We could put this thing to bed if we’d all do this, but it is what it is,” Zimmer said Monday.

Cousins said he’s considering surrounding his seat in meetings with plexiglass and will do “whatever it takes,” but did not commit to being vaccinated.

“The vaccination decision is a very private health matter for me and I’m going to keep it as such,” he said. “I do believe that as a leader of the team it’s very important I follow the protocols and avoid a close contact. That’s what it’s going to come down to.”

–Field Level Media

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