“I Was In A Bit Of Denial” – Kirk Cousins Was Mic’d Up When He Tore His Achilles & The Newly Released Footage Is Heartbreaking

Kirk Cousins
Minnesota Vikings

If Kirk Cousins’ last ride with the Minnesota Vikings winds up ending with a torn Achilles at Lambeau Field, that’s a pretty big bummer. Sometimes, when it comes to covering sports, it’s so easy to disregard the human element, “move on to the next play” to use some football lingo, and kind of forget about monumental moments like this one from the middle of the season.

Cousins was playing some of the best football of his career while finally enjoying some continuity on offense in the form of his second-year head coach/play-caller Kevin O’Connell. Unfortunately, Cousins hobbled off the field with what he truly believed was an ankle injury, only to find out his Achilles was ruptured. Hearing the man himself give the whole backstory after the fact, witnessing his wholesome interaction with his son before kickoff, and watching the injury unfold via a hot mic, is a painful sequence of events that makes you feel for Cousins even more.

He says:

“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, and then I realized I can’t I can’t get to the sidelines so I just hopped. I assumed at first, ‘oh it’s a sprained ankle.’

This is gonna be a difficult next month as I rehab, but I’ll be able to play. I’m a pocket passer. I still didn’t think I’d torn anything. I still didn’t think it would be season-ending I just knew it probably game-ending.

I was in a bit of denial about the injury, because I come off the field and [assistant athletic trainer] Connor [Whicker] and Dr. Coetzee are there, and I’m explaining what I’m feeling. And it’s all the traditional signs that I tore my Achilles… Dr. Koetze has heard all these lines hundreds of times before, and so he’s going, ‘We gotta get this guy to the blue tent. He tore his Achilles.’

I obviously knew what that meant… I’m out for the year, and looking at 2024 as the next time I’m on a football field.”

Think about where the two teams here were ahead of their Week 8 NFC North duel. The Vikings were rallying back to 4-4 after a 0-3 start. The Green Bay Packers took a loss to sink to 2-5, and there were very real questions about Jordan Love’s viability as a franchise quarterback.

Play ball with me a bit now. Pretend for the sake of this ridiculous impending scenario that you wouldn’t fall unconscious due to shock. Here goes: Had an extra-dimensional prophet had plopped into your living room at that time and told you, right before Cousins’ injury, that it would be the Love-led Packers, not Captain Kirk’s Vikings, who’d embarrass the pants off the Dallas Cowboys on Wild Card Weekend as a massive road underdog, you’d still refuse to believe it. That’s a textbook example of an incalculable many at how quickly things can change in the National Football League.

Whether it’s been allowing in an inside look at his life through Netflix’s Quarterback series, rocking ice after victories, carving up opposing secondaries, or carving it up as a dancer at NFL Honors, Cousins has seen his popularity soar over the past couple seasons. He comes across as a down-to-earth family man who happens to be one of the most surgical pocket passers of his era. If Cousins does price himself out of Minnesota, a gaggle of QB-needy teams will want the wily veteran under center as long as he’s fully healthy. Based on that aforementioned dancing display, it looks like Cousins is on course in his recovery from that devastating injury.

Cousins and the Vikings should stick together. If that Brian Flores-coordinated defense can add a couple more pieces, this Minnesota team could be dangerous in the NFC. They’re too far back in the draft (No. 11 overall) to guarantee getting one of the top three QBs in a strong class.

Maybe you could draft one with the 11th pick as Cousins’ heir apparent, much like the Packers did once upon a time with Love waiting in the wings until Aaron Rodgers left for the Jets and, as the cruel fates of football would have it, tore his Achilles on his first series with Gang Green.

Because of the uncertainty surrounding Cousins off this injury, Minnesota’s precarious draft position that’d require a trade up to land a new QB, and the expectations borne from the team’s defensive improvement and Cousins’ exceptional play when he was healthy in 2023, the Vikings are among the most interesting teams to watch as this NFL offseason progresses. How it shakes out will have major, league-wide implications, and I’m here for all of it.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock