These old comments from Kirk Cousins about COVID-19 did not age well

(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins /

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins emphasized availability during the 2020 season. So why isn’t he practicing what he preached less than a year ago?

Since becoming a full-time NFL starter in 2015, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has never missed a game due to injury, illness, or personal reasons.

Cousins has been the definition of available during the last six seasons, and his ability to stay on the field is a big reason why he’s still a starter at the age of 32.

However, during Minnesota’s two most recent training camp practices on Monday and this past Saturday, Cousins was forced to sit at home because of a decision he has made to not get the COVID-19 vaccine, which could have a significant impact on his availability for the upcoming season.

Comments from 2020 contradict the current behavior of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins

Around this time last year, Cousins got into a bit of hot water when he went on the “10 Questions With Kyle Brandt” podcast and made the infamous “if I die, I die,” statement in response to his feelings about contracting the COVID-19 virus.

Unsurprisingly, the Vikings quarterback faced a bunch of backlash from the public after his comments spread all over the internet. It ultimately led to Cousins calling an impromptu virtual press conference to clarify the message he was trying to get across with what he said on the podcast.

Here’s some of what the Minnesota signal-caller said during that virtual press conference that took place last year on September 2.

"“Admittedly I probably wasn’t as clear as I would have liked to have been. But what I wanted to say then, and what I would echo again now, is that while the virus does not give me a great amount of personal fear, there’s still great reason for me to engage in wearing a mask and social distancing and washing my hands as frequently as I can and following protocols that have been set in place. Obviously, to be respectful and considerate of other people, which is very important, but then also to be available for all 16 games this fall because as the protocol is set up if a player were to test positive they would be potentially out of the game or games.”"

A little later on in the virtual press conference, Cousins added, “we don’t want anybody to get the virus so we can have the best team possible on Sundays.”

Now, does this sound like someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to help the team that pays him an average of more than $30 million per year? It does, doesn’t it?

Obviously, none of the COVID-19 vaccines were as widely available when he made these comments as they currently are. But during this virtual press conference, Cousins made it sound like he was willing to basically jump off a cliff if it meant the Vikings would benefit from it.

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But as he continues to quarantine at home while his teammates prepare for the upcoming season, that no longer seems to be the mentality of Minnesota’s No. 1 quarterback.