Kirk Cousins apologizes to Adam Thielen for not getting him the ball

Kirk Cousins has had a rough week - and now he’s apologizing for it.

The Minnesota Vikings quarterback had a miserable outing in a 16-6 loss to the Chicago Bears, fumbling twice and taking six sacks without finding the end zone.

Thielen puts Cousins on notice

After the game, wide receiver Adam Thielen called Cousins out to reporters.

“At some point, you're not going to be able to run the ball for 180 yards, even with the best running back in the NFL,” Thielen said. “That's when you have to be able to throw the ball. ... You have to be able to hit the deep balls.”

Cousins overthrew Thielen in the first half Sunday on a deep ball that would have gone for a touchdown, and Thielen finished the day with two catches for six yards.

Thielen’s second thoughts

On Monday, Thielen walked back his comments, apparently having realized he’d just put his quarterback in the crosshairs. Cousins is under intense scrutiny in the midst of failing to live up to his $84 million contract, and Thielen’s comments turned up the heat.

My comments yesterday after the game [were meant in] a very broad sense, I think any team is going to tell you you can’t be one-dimensional. And that’s not a shot at anyone,” Thielen told reporters.

“Broad sense” or not, the message was clear to Cousins, who issued an in-depth apology to Thielen on Tuesday on a radio appearance with the Twin Cities’ KFAN.

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Kirk Cousins through his career
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Kirk Cousins through his career
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 22: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings takes a snap during the pregame warm ups against the Oakland Raiders at U.S. Bank Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Oakland Raiders 34-14. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - SEPTEMBER 08: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on after the game against the Atlanta Falcons at U.S. Bank Stadium on September 8, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Falcons 28-12. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 29: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings warms up prior to a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 29, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 15: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings warms up before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on September 15, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 15: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on September 15, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 29: Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws the football in game action during a game between the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings on September 29, 2019 at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 29: Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks on after a play in game action during a game between the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings on September 29, 2019 at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 23: Quarterback Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins warms up before a game against the New York Giants at FedExField on November 23, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 12: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Michigan State Spartans talks to coaches on the sideline against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Spartan Stadium on September 12, 2009 in East Lansing, Michigan. The Chippewas defeated the Spartans 29-27. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/Getty Images)
EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 05: Quarterback Kirk Cousins #8 of the Michigan State Spartans warms up prior to the start of the game against the Montana State Bobcats on September 5, 2009 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
EAST LANSING,MI - CIRCA 2011: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Michigan State Spartans poses for a portrait in 2011 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Michigan State Spartans/Collegiate Images/Getty Images)
12 JAN 2012: Education Session entitled Students First: Giving Student-Athletes the College Experience They Deserve held at the JW Marriott and Indianapolis Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. Joshua Duplechian/NCAA Photos via Getty Images.Pictured: Kirk Cousins
ASHBURN, VA - MAY 06: Kirk Cousins #12 of the Washington Redskins throws a pass during the Washington Redskins rookie minicamp on May 6, 2012 in Ashburn, Virginia. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
ASHBURN, VA - MAY 06: Kirk Cousins #12 of the Washington Redskins speaks to members of the media after a practice during the Washington Redskins rookie minicamp on May 6, 2012 in Ashburn, Virginia. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 26: Quarterback Kirk Cousins of Michigan State looks on during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 26, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 07: Quarterbacks Robert Griffin III #10 (L) and Kirk Cousins #12 of the Washington Redskins take the field before playing the Atlanta Falcons at FedExField on October 7, 2012 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Dec 15, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (12) throws a pass in the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 14, 2014; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) runs off the filed after the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 41-10. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 21, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks for a receiver against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 20, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates after a touchdown by Redskins running back Matt Jones (31) against the St. Louis Rams in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 10, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws the ball against the Green Bay Packers during the first half in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 11, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) on the sidelines against the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated the Redskins 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 12, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) joins his teammates and members of the United States Armed Forces in holding a giant american flag during the national anthem prior to the Redskins' game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 16, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates with fans after the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 24, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) stands in the pocket in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
September 17, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws as offensive tackle Trent Williams (71) blocks Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Alec Ogletree (52) during the first half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) locks arms with teammates during the national anthem before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 5, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates after a touchdown in the second quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during an NFL football game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Cousins’ apology

The St. Paul Pioneer-Press’ Chris Tomasson documented the mea culpa.

“I really want to apologize to (Thielen) because there’s too many opportunities where we could have hit him on Sunday. … I’ve watched the film, and the reality is there were opportunities for (Thielen). The one that’s most obvious is the third-and-10 at the beginning of the game. We’re near midfield. That’s arguably seven points.

“If you put the ball where it needs to be, No. 19’s shown that he will make that play. … Adam’s not just a really good player or one of the best players on the Vikings. He’s one of the best players in the NFL, one of the best players in the world, period, regardless of position. And so we want to, we need to — I need to get him more opportunities. Get him the football.”

Cousins’ sentiment sounds genuine and thoughtful. Which is great. But sentiment isn’t what’s needed in Minnesota.

Better quarterback play is.

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