Nobody knows what the NFL season will look like this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought the sports world to a complete halt over the past month.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins says there are “creative and unique ways” to ensure that the season takes place in some form.
One of the options many have floated is to play games without fans in attendance.
While that would provide for a strange atmosphere — and still put players, coaches, officials, staff and more at risk for contracting the virus — Cousins said Tuesday that he wouldn’t mind playing in an empty stadium.
“Honestly, we practice every day in an empty grass area and pump in fake crowd noise for away games,” Cousins said, via ESPN. “But more often than not, you’re used to it. OTA practices don’t have a lot of pomp and circumstance to them.
“So honestly to go out and just play the game would kind of be refreshing, a breath of fresh air, to just let us know that we don’t have to have all the smoke and the fire, we can just play football.”
Cousins threw for more than 3,600 yards and 26 touchdowns while completing better than 69 percent of his passes last season, his eighth in the league.
There were more than 580,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States as of Tuesday night and nearly 1,700 in Minnesota. At least one notable health expert, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, told The New York Times last week that there isn’t a “plausible possibility” for larger gatherings like conferences, concerts and athletic events to return until “fall 2021 at the earliest.”
Cousins doesn’t care how it shakes out. He just wants to play.
“As long as we’re playing the game, I won’t have a lot of complaints,” Cousins said, via ESPN. “And hopefully if it’s still not returned to normal, we can find a way to make it work.”
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