Vikings' Kirk Cousins admits being 'in denial' in moments following gruesome Achilles tear


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During an October game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Minnesota Vikings star quarterback Kirk Cousins was carted into the visiting locker room. He soon learned he had a torn right Achilles.

The four-time Pro Bowler happened to be wearing a microphone at the time. The mic’d up Cousins initially believed he merely suffered an ankle injury. “Yeah my ankle is shot,” the microphone captured Cousins telling medical personnel in the moments following the injury. 

In a recent edition of “The Voyage”, a digital series from the Vikings, Cousins detailed the moments following his season-ending injury.

“When I first got hurt, I didn’t think I did anything too bad because I get stepped on all the time. … it just felt like my heel got stepped on,” the 35-year-old quarterback said.

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Kirk Cousins is helped off the football field

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, #8, is helped off the field after going down with an injury in the fourth quarter of an NFL game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via AP)

Cousins went on to admit that he was in a state of denial as it related to the severity of the injury and assumed he would only miss a few games.

KIRK COUSINS HOPES TO PLAY FOR VIKINGS IN 2024 AS FREE AGENCY LOOMS

“I assumed at first, ‘Oh it’s a sprained ankle. This is going to be a difficult next month as I rehab but I’ll be able play. I’m a pocket passer,'” he continued. “I still didn’t think I had torn anything. I still didn’t think it’d be season-ending. I just knew it would probably be game-ending.”

“I was in denial,” he concluded. 

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At one point, a member of the Vikings training staff instructed Cousins to lean on him so the quarterback could be assisted to the sideline. However, Cousins seemed determined to make it to the bench under his own power, saying, “I don’t want to use you, I just want to hop.”

Kirk Cousins vs Panthers

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, #8, during an NFL football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 1, 2023 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. (John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Trainers also asked Cousins to identify which part of his ankle was in pain. The signal caller replied by saying “the back.”

“I went to go, and my heel got locked into the ground, someone stepped on me and I went, and my heel didn’t go,” Cousins said once he made it to the sideline. “So it just stressed it like crazy. I didn’t feel anything when I went to go. I just pressed down and I got nothing. I just don’t have much when I’m pressing.”

Kirk Cousins vs 49ers

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, #8, throws a pass during an NFL game between the Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 23, 2023, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. (Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Rookie quarterback Jaren Hall was thrust into action after Cousins’ injury. As Cousins entered the blue medical tent, he offered some words of encouragement to the young quarterback, saying, “You got ’em Jaren. They’re going to run the football. You got ’em.”

Hall finished the Week 8 game against the Green Bay Packers with 23 passing yards. The Vikings held on to defeat the Packers 24-10.

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Cousins ultimately missed the remainder of the season and underwent successful surgery to repair his Achilles tendon. He is scheduled to become a free agent when his contract with Minnesota expires in March.

“I obviously knew what that meant. I’m out for the year. I’m looking at 2024 as the next time I’ll step onto a football field,” Cousins said last November.

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