No place in skilled sports activities takes on extra of a duty as a frontrunner than quarterbacks.
Amid COVID-19 vaccination debates spiraling across the NFL, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has turn into the proverbial punching bag. His management has been referred to as into query for being unvaccinated and working the chance of lacking video games this upcoming season.
Nonetheless, many QBs across the league haven’t been topic to the identical scrutiny. Seven-time Tremendous Bowl champion Tom Brady has remained silent on the difficulty, whereas Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has caught the virus twice and didn’t face practically the identical media hellfire.
However for Cousins, the scrutiny is nothing new.
He’s been stoked in smoldering criticism all through his profession and has proven resolve that has gained the respect of Vikings large receiver Adam Thielen.
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‘He Doesn’t Care What Individuals Say’
Thielen spoke on KFAN’s Paul Allen earlier than Thursday’s apply and addressed what Allen referred to as “elevator music” surrounding Cousins’ vaccination standing.
Thielen, who mentioned he was unvaccinated in June, confirmed nothing however assist for his quarterback that he related with for a career-high 14 touchdowns a season in the past.
“He doesn’t care what folks say, how folks really feel about him, what a coach says about him,” Thielen mentioned. “He’s going to be the identical man and he’s going to have ardour and vitality and is a superb teammate.”
Thielen credited Cousins for his means to tune out the background noise surrounding his profession — be it his 51-51-2 profession document or not successful his first playoff recreation till his eighth season within the NFL.
Cousins has persevered and progressed as a quarterback. His 43-yard reference to Adam Thielen arrange a walk-off landing to Kyle Rudolph clinched an NFC Wild Card spherical upset over the New Orleans Saints within the 2019 postseason. He adopted up his first postseason victory by throwing a career-high 35 touchdowns in 2020.
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Thielen added that Cousins’ character has helped him be higher — each on and off the sector.
“He’s pushed me to be a greater particular person,” Thielen mentioned. “They see issues which can be mentioned about him however he’s human being. He has an ideal coronary heart and means properly with the whole lot he’s obtained.”
COVID-19 Stays a Concern
Nonetheless, they each face an identical destiny as unvaccinated gamers coming into this season which the NFL has set harsher COVID-19 protocols this season.
Minnesota obtained a style of the impression of the brand new protocols when Cousins and Nate Stanley have been positioned on the COVID-19 record final week after being labeled as “high-risk” shut contacts with Kellen Mond, who’s unvaccinated and tested positive for COVID-19 on July 31.
Jake Browning was the one quarterback out there when all three QBs have been deemed unsafe to apply. Cousins and Stanley have been compelled to isolate for 5 days earlier than returning to apply on Aug. 5 regardless of producing six unfavorable assessments all through their absence.
Had it been the common season, Cousins would have missed a recreation — a threat that every one unvaccinated gamers face whether or not they contract the virus or not.
The Vikings have been final reported because the least vaccinated staff within the NFL with 70%, per the Washington Post on Aug. 3. The Washington Submit reported that 90% of NFL gamers are not less than partially vaccinated.
https://heavy.com/sports activities/minnesota-vikings/adam-thielen-kirk-cousins-nfl-news/ | Vikings’ Adam Thielen Weighs in on Kirk Cousins Controversy