The report that Kirk Cousins 'self-reported' symptoms is irrelevant

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There’s an important nugget that got overlooked in Friday’s news that Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins tested positive for COVID-19. The information is irrelevant, but the motivation for the leaking of it has significance.

Cousins reportedly self-reported symptoms to the Vikings before his positive test. Because he’s unvaccinated, the self-reporting of symptoms doesn’t matter. He’s tested every day. He would have been tested on Friday anyway. (And if tested negative and Friday and reported the symptoms after that, he would have tested positive on Saturday, even without the self-report.)

Most passed along that news without explaining its significance, or lack thereof. At a deeper level, it’s possibly very significant.

The potential motivation for making it known that Cousins self-reported symptoms could be to push back against any anger that could come his way from Vikings fans for his stubborn refusal to get vaccinated. (He once said he would do “whatever it takes” to avoid getting COVID, except getting vaccinated.) While both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated can get COVID (and can develop symptoms), only the unvaccinated continue to be tested every day without regard to whether they are symptomatic.

Thus, if Cousins had been asymptomatic and vaccinated, he most likely would have been able to play — because under the current protocol he most likely wouldn’t have been tested.

Maybe Cousins actually was experiencing symptoms. For him, knowing that a daily test is as inevitable as the rising and the setting of the sun, there’s no reason to keep the symptoms quiet. And there’s every reason to make it known that the symptoms are happening.

For unvaccinated players, it’s always better to be a symptomatic positive. Without symptoms, many vaccinated players continue to practice and to play without being tested and, in turn, sidelined for a potentially critical late-season game on which any remaining hopes for the postseason may have been riding.

The report that Kirk Cousins “self-reported” symptoms is irrelevant originally appeared on Pro Football Talk