Since the vaccine was unveiled, most professional athletes have gotten their shots. It creates a distinct advantage for their team as it lessens their chances of missing time in COVID protocols.
Still, many athletes have opted not to get the vaccine. Kyrie Irving, the star point guard for the Brooklyn Nets, missed the first 33 games of the season over his choice. Buffalo Bill Cole Beasley, another prominent anti-vax athlete, missed last week’s matchup against the rival New England Patriots. The Nets, though, are playing sound basketball without Irving, standing at 23-10. And the Bills were able to defeat the Patriots without Beasley.
The Minnesota Vikings, however, are unlikely to be so fortunate. On Friday, it was revealed that starting quarterback Kirk Cousins will miss this week’s massive matchup against the Green Bay Packers.
Cousins has been one of the most prominent anti-vaxxers in the league. He told reporters this summer, “I’m going to be vigilant about avoiding a close contact. I’ve even thought about should I just set up literally plexiglass around where I sit so that this can never happen again. I’ve thought about it because I’m gonna do whatever it takes.” The one thing Cousins wouldn’t do? Get a vaccine shot.
There is nothing more predictable than Kirk Cousins testing positive before having one last chance to save the jobs of the people dumb enough to have signed him.
— Jim Souhan (@SouhanStrib) December 31, 2021
The team’s head coach, Mike Zimmer, saw this situation as distinctly possible before the season started. He said after several players missed practices over COVID protocols, “I’m not surprised one bit. I am disappointed that this happened. I’m frustrated, not just with my football players who didn’t get vaccinated, but I’m frustrated with everybody (who didn’t). We’ll just do the best we can. It’s just disappointing.”
The Vikings, at 7-8, desperately need to win their remaining games for a shot at the playoffs. Playing the 12-3 Packers without Cousins, though, will likely be too much of an uphill battle.
The rumor that’s been going around lately is that the #Vikings will stick with either Mike Zimmer or Kirk Cousins in 2022
Have to think today’s events are not going to help Minnesota’s owners that Cousins is the guy that should stay
— Adam Patrick (@Str8_Cash_Homey) December 31, 2021
The decision from Cousins isn’t only likely to cost Minnesota their next game; it might cost Cousins his job. It is widely expected that the Vikings will choose between Cousins and Zimmer this offseason.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.