Last month, Kirk Cousins found himself in a disheartening situation at Lambeau Field. As he was being carted into the locker room, the disconcerting news of a ruptured right Achilles sank in. Reflecting on that moment, Cousins revealed, “You have a lot of thoughts go through your head, and one of them was: ‘Is this the last time I play football?'” Speaking publicly for the first time since the October 29 injury, he added, “Now a couple of weeks removed, I can say, ‘No, it’s not going to be.’ I’m excited to write the next chapter and see what God wants to do with it.”
The uncertainty lies in the future’s details—the location and nature of Cousins’ next chapter. His contract is set to void in March, just five months shy of his 36th birthday. In a surprising turn of events, replacement quarterback Josh Dobbs has led the Vikings to victories in both games he’s played, boasting the second-best QBR (87.4) among all quarterbacks during that span.
Despite the impending expiration of his contract, Cousins expressed his desire to conclude his career in Minnesota, a sentiment he has consistently maintained since contract extension talks were put on hold in the spring. Regarding the looming contract situation, Cousins acknowledged, “Certainly, your mind goes there, and you know what’s coming.
But similar to what we said in April or August, March will happen in March. February will happen in February. Those conversations will happen, but it’s just not time yet. We’ve got so much to focus on with this season. Guys are playing so well. And that’s where our attention really needs to be.”
The injury marked the first in Cousins’ career requiring surgery. Initially in denial, Cousins experienced little pain in the Achilles but was swiftly diagnosed by team physician Dr. Chris Coetzee in the sideline medical tent. Coping with the news, Cousins admitted, “I’m still mad, and I’m still disappointed.” A suggestion from team psychologist Brownell Mack helped shift his mindset towards a more positive outlook, emphasizing that adversity often leads to personal growth.
Surgery, performed by Coetzee near the Vikings’ practice facility, opted for the traditional method over the SpeedBridge approach. Cousins, wearing a walking boot, is putting weight on his leg during rehabilitation and believes he’ll be ready for at least some portion of practices when OTAs commence in May.
In the interim, he remains engaged by attending quarterback meetings and undertaking schematic projects assigned by coach Kevin O’Connell, who values Cousins’ continued involvement with the team. O’Connell noted, “He knows our offense… It is kind of similar to our normal dialogue of Monday and Tuesday, and as he gets into his tape study, I just asked him, ‘I just want you to be involved. I just want you to be around our team. Be around.’ He is going to start traveling when he gets cleared to do that. I think it [is] a huge bonus for everybody to have him around.”