The following article, Kirk Cousins Called 'The Most Loved Player in Football' for What He Did After Suffering Devastating Injury, was first published on Flag And Cross.
Why isn’t Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins a bigger deal?
In a sports world that so loves underdog stories and honest-to-goodness role models, Cousins has long checked both boxes — while also being one of the most productive quarterbacks of the last eight years.
From the outset of his NFL career, the odds have been stacked against Cousins. People forget because he’s outlasted him, but Cousins was originally drafted to be the back-up to then-Washington Redskins superstar Robert Griffin III.
Not only did Cousins eventually outlast the talented but injury-prone Griffin in Washington, he would continue to thrive when he joined the Vikings as a free agent before the 2018 NFL season.
In fact, since joining Minnesota, Cousins has never failed to reach the following benchmarks in a season:
- 3,600 passing yards
- 26 passing touchdowns
- 1 rushing touchdown
- Win at least seven games
He’s never failed to hit at least those numbers every year he’s been with the Vikings … until this year.
Cousins, in the final year of his contract, suffered a devastating Achilles injury during the Vikings 24-10 road win over their bitter rivals, the Green Bay Packers, on Sunday.
The injury will be the first time that the durable Cousins will have to miss time due to actual injury in his 12-year career, per ESPN. He missed one game in 2021 due to a positive COVID-19 test.
The play in question wasn’t even extraordinary. His Achilles appeared to just pop on a non-contact injury when Cousins planted his leg in the fourth quarter of the game.
— Scott Fish (@ScottFish24) October 29, 2023
But if you need a real testament to the man’s character, look no further than the way in which Cousins responded to what he assuredly knew was going to be a season-ending injury:
The most loved player in football: While being carted off the field #Vikings QB Kirk Cousins started clapping for his teammates, encouraging them.
He was most likely in excruciating pain, but he made sure to be there for his teammates.
This is why Kirk is the most loved… pic.twitter.com/1XnuQ26UR1
— MLFootball (@_MLFootball) October 30, 2023
Cousins was seen cheering his teammates on and rooting for them from the medical cart as if he weren’t even injured — and it can’t be understated that he did this with an excruciating injury. (Achilles ruptures are often described as someone taking a hot bat and hitting you as hard as they can in your calf.)
“The most loved player in football: While being carted off the field #Vikings QB Kirk Cousins started clapping for his teammates, encouraging them,” one popular NFL X account posted. “He was most likely in excruciating pain, but he made sure to be there for his teammates.
“This is why Kirk is the most loved player in the league, even if he does not play for your team.”
Other similar sentiments began cropping up on social media.
NFL pundit and fantasy expert Field Yates said, “Kirk Cousins could tell instantly his injury was bad. He probably knew he tore his Achilles right away.
“Just as the cart is about to take him to the locker room and with his season over, you can see him look up in a key moment and cheer on his team as they battle for a division win.
“I’ll always respect Kirk. Helluva teammate and leader.”
One NFL X account promised the world that “Kirk Cousins will be back” and that “[t]his video summarizes who Kirk Cousins is perfectly.”
Cousins, who is set to be a free agent following the season, is finished for the year, meaning the Vikings will have to rely on rookie fifth-round pick quarterback Jaren Hall for the rest of the season. Some, however, have pegged beleaguered New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones as a possible trade candidate for the Vikings.
The Vikings will look to climb back over .500 when the team travels to face the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday — without Kirk Cousins.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.