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Kirk Cousins speaks publicly on season-ending injury, reiterates his desire to remain a Minnesota Viking

Quarterback Kirk Cousins had successful surgery
Quarterback Kirk Cousins had successful surgery 00:55

EAGAN, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins on Friday opened up about his season-ending injury earlier this season, his future with the team and more.

The 35-year-old quarterback tore his Achilles tendon during the Oct. 29 win over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. He had surgery three days later. He will miss the rest of the season on injured reserve.

"So appreciate all the well wishes that I've received from people. 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," Cousins said.

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Cousins is also grateful to the medical staff.

"It was a great comfort in Lambeau to have Dr. (Chris) Coetzee right there, a foot and ankle specialist, who could evaluate it right in the moment," Cousins said. "It took him about a half a second for him to tell me I tore my Achilles because of how skilled he is." 

Coetzee performed the surgery on Cousins. He had also surgically repaired right tackle Brian O'Neill's partially torn Achilles late last season. Cousins said he's been "leaning on" O'Neill for guidance during his recovery process. 

Since Cousins' injury, the Vikings have gone 2-0 against the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints. The team's plan was to give rookie Jaren Hall a shot to replace Cousins, but when he suffered a concussion early in the Falcons game, the Vikings turned to Joshua Dobbs. Dobbs had joined the team via trade just days before the game.

Dobbs has since grabbed hold of the starting job. He's totaled 536 yards and five touchdowns with the Vikings and thrown no interceptions.

"Everybody's appreciated how hard it is — for what Josh has done. But I think the guys inside the building know even more, how hard it is. Because we know all there is to do at that quarterback position and all the coaches have to do when there's change there," Cousins said.  

Even though he'll be an observer, Cousins said he's excited to see where the season goes.

"It's been fun watching our football team win and play at a really high level, and kind of continue this run," Cousins said.  

Cousins said for now he's balancing helping the team with his recovery process, but he's already made a point to be at quarterback meetings. Head coach Kevin O'Connell says Cousins' contributions will ramp up as he's able.

"That'll be big. For coaches and players," O'Connell said.

Cousins, who was playing some of his best football before the injury, is set to be a free agent this offseason, though O'Connell has indicated the door is not closed on a return to the Vikings. For now, however, Cousins isn't thinking of where he'll be next season. 

"Those conversations will happen, but it's just not time yet. And we've got so much to focus on this season. The guys are playing so well. And that's where the attention needs to be. That's where my attention will be," Cousins said.  

But one thing is for certain for Cousins: He wants to remain a Viking. 

"That desire hasn't changed. That's still the same. There's a lot that's out of my control on that. So, yeah, you can want a lot of things, doesn't mean it's going to happen. I keep an open mind, but I'd certainly love for that to be the case," Cousins said.   

The Vikings seem to have caught an injury bug in recent months. Star wide receiver Justin Jefferson has been out for multiple weeks after suffering a hamstring injury. He recently returned to practice earlier this month, and could return to the active roster soon. 

Running back Cam Akers suffered the same injury as Cousins and is out for the season. Veteran linebacker Jordan Hicks will also miss some time on injured reserve with a chin injury.   

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