Minnesota Vikings brought renowned epidemiologist and infectious disease expert Dr. Michael Osterholm to speak with the team this week and their quarterback Kirk Cousins insisted it was a good meeting. The Vikings have one of the lowest rates when it comes to player vaccination and head coach Mike Zimmer publicly spoke about how frustrated he was with that fact.
“It was a great meeting. It was informative. And it was what it was,” Cousins said, per Chad Graff. Vikings coach Zimmer insists he wants his players to take the vaccine because he cares about their health. “I thought he was very good with his points, answered a lot of questions.
Whether or not that changes anything, I don’t know,” Zimmer said. “I care about these players and I care about their families, and so that’s my main reason. If they miss a game because they get COVID, so be it.
But I don’t want them to get sick and I don’t want their families to get sick and their kids to get sick or my grandkids to get sick”.
Cousins doesn't want to take the vaccine
Earlier this month, Vikings quarterback Cousins was out of practice for five days because he was deemed as a close contact to a positive person.
"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.
"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 doesn't want to take the vaccine but he has vowed to do everything he can to avoid entering health and safety protocols this season. "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."