Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has vowed follow the NFL's COVID-19 protocols to avoid contracting the virus or being deemed a close contract. Over the weekend, Vikings rookie quarterback Kellen Mond tested positive for the coronavirus and Cousins and quarterback Nate Stanley had to quarantine since they were deemed as close contacts.
"I've come to learn since I've been at home that the tracers we wear actually showed I was not a 'close contact' as I understand being a close contact, which is being within a certain number of feet," Cousins said, per ESPN.
"The challenge was, the meeting room we met in was deemed to be too small for us to have been in a room together -- even if we were significantly apart from each other. So we've since moved to a different meeting room, and as I understand it, had we met in a larger room, I would not have missed practice.
Because I was not a close contact as deemed by actually being in contact. So it was disappointing to miss practice. In my entire college and pro career, I have not missed four practices. So to miss four practices in one week and not have COVID was frustrating, disappointing."
Cousins returned to practice on Thursday
"As I said to Coach [Mike] Zimmer last night, I said, 'We can meet in the indoor, we can meet outside,'" Cousins said. "And I said, 'If it means meeting outside under a goalpost in January, if that's what it takes to get to the playoffs and be in playoff games and win playoff games, then that's where we're going to meet.'
We're going to avoid this close-contact thing with everything we possibly can do. I was not aware of the meeting room size being an issue. Otherwise, I would have spoken up and said, 'We obviously can't meet here.'
" Cousins is determined not to miss any games this season due to health and safety protocols. "I do believe that as a leader of the team, it's very important to follow the protocols to avoid this close contact -- because that is what it's going to come down to," Cousins said.
"Did you have a close contact? So I'm going to be vigilant about avoiding a close contact. I've even thought about, should I just set up literally Plexiglas around where I sit, so this could never happen again? I've thought about it, because I'm going to do whatever it takes.
We're going to avoid this close-contact thing, and I look forward to making sure I'm playing for every game this year."