Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has been off the field and largely out of the spotlight since he tore his right Achilles tendon on Oct. 29 in a win against the Green Bay Packers.
But that doesn’t mean he’s taking a break from living out his faith in Christ. In fact, the 35-year-old four-time Pro Bowler has used this personal and professional setback to glorify God in the midst of adversity.
On Friday in his first public comments since the season-ending injury and subsequent surgery, Cousins revealed his thought process after the injury, how he’s spending his days and, ultimately, Who he is trusting through it all, even from the very beginning.
“I so appreciate all the well wishes I’ve received from people,” Cousins said to begin his press conference on Friday. “You don’t quite know how many people are in your corner and how many people are praying for you and cheering you on until something like this happens.”
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He continued later: “I’m excited to write the next chapter and see what God wants to do with it, whatever it may be. I’ve just kind of been reminded again that my career, it’s not my career. It’s His career that I steward, and I’ve just gotta surrender myself and let Him lead where He wants to go. And when that’s a torn Achilles, I have to accept it just as much as if it’s a win on ‘Monday Night Football.’
“… I’m learning to play this sport holding my hands open and say, ‘You know God, whatever You want to do — if that means a torn Achilles — I’ve got to accept that,'” Cousins said, admitting that during his prayer times he’s sometimes been tempted to question God’s perfect plan. “… Ultimately I’ll look back and say, ‘God allowed that to happen, and I am where I am someday because of [the injury], not in spite of [it].'”
Ever since Washington drafted Cousins in the fourth round out of Michigan State in 2012, he has been one of the most outspoken followers of Christ in the league. He’s been a guest numerous times on the Sports Spectrum Podcast, has been featured in Sports Spectrum Magazine, publicly shared his testimony of faith and even delivered a Gospel presentation at the Super Bowl Breakfast in 2020.
“The Bible makes it very clear that the best decision you will ever make, far beyond where to throw a football, is the decision of who will be the Master of your life,” Cousins said at that Super Bowl Breakfast. “Will you allow Jesus Christ to become Lord of your life, and have control of your life? And will you serve Him?”
His deep faith in Christ leads Cousins to not only love God well, but to love the people He’s created too. Therefore, Cousins hasn’t let his temporarily limited mobility get in the way of his active involvement in giving back to the community. He brought his wife, Julie, and his eldest son, Cooper, along as he recently helped serve Thanksgiving meals at the St. Paul Salvation Army alongside other Vikings players.
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Now out of a cast but still in the rehab facility nearly every day, Cousins has also found the time to sit in on Minnesota’s quarterback meetings, contributing when he can and offering advice to his replacement, Josh Dobbs. It’s a new situation for Cousins, who had never before missed a game due to injury in his 12-year career.
In Cousins’ absence, Minnesota has continued to win. The Vikings were 3-4 when Cousins went down, but they won their next three as part of a five-game winning streak overall. Their winning streak came to an end Sunday, but they are currently 6-5 and hold the third and final NFC wild-card playoff spot.
Cousins’ future with the Vikings is murky following this season. He is set to become a free agent after his sixth year with the team, but both he and Minnesota’s front office have expressed interest in getting a new contract signed.
Cousins will cast his anxieties on the Lord and trust in Him for a resolution to his contract situation, just like he’s sought to do with his Achilles injury. He knows that however it works out, it will be for his good and for God’s glory.
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