Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has been ruled out for the team's preseason debut after testing positive for COVID-19, head coach Kevin O'Connell announced Friday via the Vikings' verified Twitter account.
Cousins had previously tested positive for COVID-19 in August and December 2021.
O'Connell confirmed that Cousins was absent from Thursday's (August 11) practice due to an illness and said the team was "working through" whether it could be COVID-19 at the time.
"We're still in the process of trying to go through all of that, make sure first and foremost, 'What are you feeling? What's going on?' " O'Connell said via the Star Tribune. "And then go through our in-house process to make sure that if it does end up being [COVID], we're on top of it, and if it's not, there's still some other stuff going around that we want to make sure we're being smart about the other  guys, coaches, everything in-house. [Executive player health and performance director] Tyler [Williams] and [head athletic trainer] Uriah [Myrie] and their staff, we've had a lot of dialogue about that so we'll be smart and deal with it day by day."
Prior to the 2020 season, Cousins was criticized for saying "if I die, I die" during an appearance on the 10 Questions with Kyle Brandt podcast in reference to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which he later apologized for in September 2020, ESPN reports.
Cousins recently signed an extension with the Vikings running through the 2023 season after entering the offseason with one year remaining on his previous contract, which would have brought $45 million against the salary cap for the 2022 NFL season.