NFL quarterback Kirk Cousins is sidelined for the remainder of the 2023 season after he suffered an Achilles injury late last month.
But the injury has not hampered his desire to be a force for good in his community.
The Minnesota Vikings star had just had his leg cast removed on Monday, according to the Star Tribune. Cousins, 35, suffered a season-ending Achilles injury during a game against the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 29.
Tuesday, a day after the cast was removed, he was photographed helping to serve locals at a Thanksgiving event hosted by the St. Paul Salvation Army.
His cast had been replaced by a walking boot while he moved with the assistance of crutches.
Cousins was also wearing a Salvation Army red apron and a smile.
Kirk Cousins, in a walking boot a couple weeks after his Achilles surgery, is serving Thanksgiving meals with Vikings teammates at the Salvation Army in St. Paul tonight. pic.twitter.com/hhvCgr7Jlk
— Ben Goessling (@BenGoessling) November 14, 2023
According to the Tribune, Cousins was joined by numerous teammates, his wife Julie and their son Cooper.
The quarterback was said to have chatted with fans of the team and also signed autographs for many of them.
During comments to the newspaper, Cousins said he had agreed to be at the event prior to the injury. He did not want to go back on his word, he said.
“We’d committed to it before the injury [on Oct. 29], and I realized we can still get there,” the former Michigan State University star said.
“It’s fun to bring my son Cooper. We’ve learned that it is truly more happy-making to give than to receive. We came last year, and it was a great event. It was fun to be here with teammates and spouses. It’s a little change of scenery, change of pace.”
According to the newspaper, Cousins also shared that he was making the most of the injury and had made the decision to enjoy a break from his usually rigorous NFL schedule.
“During the season, we go from our house to work and back home, to the hotel and the stadium, and go home,” Cousins told the Tribune. “We’re so insulated that you don’t really get to interact with fans all that often in a conversational way.”
Cousins said people in his position to reminders from time to time how important their on-field personages are to the people who live in the Twin Cities region.
“I think it’s a real positive for us as players to be reminded of how much this team means to the community,” Cousins said. “Not that you ever forget, but it’s good just to get that reminder again, of the difference we can make with the platform of being a pro football player in Minnesota.”
One of Cousins’ teammates who was also at the Salvation Army event praised him for his spirit.
“When you are injured, it’s difficult,” Vikings long snapper Andrew DePaola said. “You’re not an outcast, but it’s kind of like: ‘Well, what do we talk about?’ But that’s the cool thing with Kirk: You can talk about anything with him.”
DePaola said that Cousins has remained a presence in the team’s locker room since his injury, in spite of the fact he does not need to be there.
“He’s a huge part of the culture of our team,” DePaola said.
Cousins’ words and actions certainly put him at odds with people such as women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe, who claimed her career-ending injury earlier this week is “proof” that God does not exist.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.