Kirk Cousins indicated Thursday that he would rather put up plexiglass walls around where he sits at Vikings headquarters than get the vaccine for COVID-19.
Cousins, who missed four practices after being deemed a close contact to fellow quarterback Kellen Mond, who tested positive for COVID-19, was activated from the NFL's COVID-19/Reserve list. The quarterback remains unvaccinated and apparently has no plans to get the shot.
"I think the vaccination decision is a very private health matter for me and I'm going to keep it as such," he said. "I'm going to be vigilant about avoiding a close contact."
Cousins acknowledged that getting vaccinated is the best way to ensure he's able to practice, play and avoid the virus, but he's "at peace" with his decision. He has considered alternative, less proven ways, to protect himself: plexiglass walls.
"I've even thought about, 'should i just set up, literally, plexiglass around where I sit so that this could never happen again.' I've thought about it because I'm going to do whatever it takes," Cousins said.
Cousins said he's tested negative six times since learning that Mond tested positive last weekend. He claimed he never would've missed practice had the meeting where he was deemed a close contact been in a larger room.
"The meeting room we met in was deemed to be too small for us to have been in a room together even if we were significantly apart from each other," he explained.
Future meetings will be held in a bigger room. Cousins said he'll even meet outdoors in January if that's what it takes to avoid another close contact situation.
Asked how he can dodge the delta variant and other coronavirus variants for the entire season, Cousins said last year proved it's possible, even without the vaccine.
"The protocols work. Masks work. Social distancing works. The 2020 season proved that," he argued.
However, the 2020 season came before the development of the extremely contagious delta variant, which has prompted the CDC to urge people get vaccinated and return to wearing masks indoors where transmission is considered substantial or high (the entire Twin Cities has substantial or high transmission).
Asked this week if "masking alone" is good enough, Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm answered: "All I can tell you is that I think CDC was reacting to some really fast moving data that they were aware of and just wanted to get some additional precautionary measures out to the public, but I would just, personal opinion, agree with you that that's probably not the end of the conversation."
Malcolm noted that returning to masking should not "overshadow" the importance of getting the vaccine.