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Can’t Keep Kirk Cousins Down

The Minnesota Vikings quarterback experienced a major setback this season, but his hopes remain high. Boardroom sat down with Cousins to talk the NFC North, his NFL future, and more.

The 2023-24 NFL season didn’t exactly pan out how Kirk Cousins imagined, ending in Week 8 after tearing his Achilles when the Minnesota Vikings visited NFC North rival Green Bay. Even so, the quarterback is looking ahead with renewed confidence.

“Yeah, we’re about 2.5 months into the process after surgery. Every day, every week, I get a little better,” said the 12-year veteran when asked how recovery is going. “But I’m feeling good. We’re on schedule, and I was told that the process would be full of ups and downs, kind of like the stock market. However, it’s been a bull market for me. It’s been a positive deal since surgery, which is exciting.”

Until his injury, the 35-year-old Cousins was having an enviable season, completing 69.5% of his throws for 2,331 yards, 18 touchdowns, and five interceptions. He was tied for the most touchdown passes and was second in passing yards in the league when he got hurt.

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Cousins’ absence for the rest of the year was felt by the Vikings, especially since the NFC North has gained reasonable attention for being one of the more fun divisions to watch this season — Detroit Lions and the Packers will face off in divisional round games this weekend.

Cousins acknowledged the league is always changing, and the NFC North’s dominance was seemingly inevitable after various roster moves over the last few years.

“The NFC North is a great example of where two, maybe three years ago, it was Aaron Rodgers winning the MVP for the Packers. The Lions were building something, and now, the Lions win the division. The Packers are a younger team, and even the Bears are a defense force. So it’s a league constantly changing, and our division is no different, and I think that’s what makes it so fun to watch.”

When the Washington Commanders selected Cousins in the fourth round of the 2012 draft, nothing was really promised for a rookie who led the Big Ten in pass completions, pass attempts, and passing yards in 2011 while at Michigan State. However, Cousins has solidified himself as a true QB1 in this league, and he has four Pro Bowl selections to prove it.

(Adam Bettcher / Getty Images)

“I remember putting on a pro helmet the first practice and thinking, “If I don’t make a pass today and they cut me, at least I got to wear a helmet one day.’ Now I look back, and I’m just so grateful for this opportunity to live this dream. I’m hoping there’s more up ahead, too, but what a privilege to be able to live out your dream the way I’ve been able to.

“When I arrived in Washington and met my coaches Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan, Matt LaFleur, and Sean McVay, I realized I’m in a special place. And it was a really cool opportunity to learn from them and to develop as a quarterback there and also to be in Washington DC, a place that, to this day, I still really miss and love. I was so fortunate to have it end up the way it did for me.”

There’s been minor discourse concerning Cousins’ future in Minnesota. His current contract with the Vikings is set to expire in March after the Illinois native signed a one-year, $35 million extension with the team last offseason. As for where he forecasts playing next year, Cousins was mum about a final destination but reiterated that he’s not ready to leave the game yet.

“Football has kind of brought our family to experiences and places that we never would’ve had if not for playing this great game. So, we’re excited to kind of see where this journey takes us next,” he said.

While Cousins and the Vikings won’t be playing in the Super Bowl next month, the QB will still have a presence after teaming up with Tostitos for its SBLVIII campaign.

Fans who follow Tostitos on Instagram and like the collaboration post between the company and Cousins, while also commenting on their favorite game-day dish with the #TostbyTostitos and #Entry hashtags, will be entered to win Super Bowl tickets, travel, and accommodations to Las Vegas. The winners will also get a VIP reservation at the Tost by Tostitos pop-up restaurant with tableside service from a professional chef and Cousins himself. He admittedly “doesn’t do spicy very well,” but Cousins assured Boardroom there are plates to satisfy all palates.

As for who he projects could be playing nearby at Allegiant Field in the big game, after some slight hesitation, there’s one team in particular that still looks promising in Cousins’ eyes.

“I think the Kansas City Chiefs have always kind of been the favorite last few years with being at home and having such convincing wins all season long,” he said. “But who knows, we could be seeing two teams in the Super Bowl that haven’t been there in a really long time, which I think could be a lot of fun.”

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About The Author
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. She began her career in sports journalism with bylines at SB Nation, USA Today, and most recently Yahoo. She received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Truman State University, and when she's not watching old clips of Serena Williams' best matches, she is likely perfecting her signature chocolate chip cookie recipe or preparing a traditional Cameroonian meal.