Vikings' Kirk Cousins Expected to Return from COVID-19 List for Thursday's Practice

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 4, 2021

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) participates in NFL training camp Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Eagan, Minn. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn

The Minnesota Vikings are expecting to have starting quarterback Kirk Cousins back at training camp Thursday.

Head coach Mike Zimmer told reporters Cousins and fellow quarterback Nate Stanley have satisfied the NFL's health and safety protocols after spending five days on the reserve/COVID-19 list. As a result, they should soon be good to go for practice.

In June, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero shared the new COVID-19 protocols for training camp and the preseason.

Players who are fully vaccinated don't have to quarantine when they're believed to have been at high risk of exposure to the virus. Personnel who are unvaccinated, however, have to enter a quarantine period.

"Quite honestly, after everything we went through last year, I'm not surprised one bit," Zimmer told reporters of the Vikings' situation. "I am disappointed that this happened. I'm frustrated, not just with my football players who didn't get vaccinated, but I'm frustrated with everybody [who didn't]. We'll just do the best we can."

He also raised a hypothetical in which a team could see one or more players ruled unavailable before a pivotal game. Pelissero reported that teams experiencing an outbreak of unvaccinated players will forfeit any contest that can't be rescheduled.

"It's why people should get vaccinated," Zimmer said.

Minnesota Vikings @Vikings

"We could put this thing to bed if we'd all do this, but it is what it is." - Coach Zimmer <a href="https://t.co/nL8PmUZeM1">pic.twitter.com/nL8PmUZeM1</a>

The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala reported the Vikings have the lowest vaccination rate of any NFL team at 64.5 percent.

Minnesota selected Texas A&M's Kellen Mond in the third round of the 2021 NFL draft, but Cousins is widely expected to be the starter for Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Vikings kick off their preseason slate Aug. 14 against the Denver Broncos.