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Kirk Cousins reveals gnarly scar, wonders if cleats caused injury

"Brian O'Neill had tore his Achilles the previous year at Lambeau wearing the screw-ins."
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Had Kirk Cousins been wearing normal football cleats maybe the Achilles tendon in his right leg never would've ruptured on Oct. 29, 2023. 

Cousins, now more than three months removed from the season-ending injury, revealed Thursday during an appearance with Pat McAfee in Las Vegas for the Super Bowl that he wonders if the spikes he was wearing caused the injury.

"We always wear the long cleats at Lambeau, and I just wonder," Cousins began, explaining to former Packers linebacker and McAfee's co-host A.J. Hawk that he wore longer, screw-in spikes for Minnesota's game against Green Bay at Lambeau Field. 

"We had a bunch of slips in the game the previous year in January so we said this year we all gotta do it, no exceptions. And [Vikings right tackle] Brian O'Neill had tore his Achilles the previous year at Lambeau wearing the screw-ins. First time he ever wore them, he tore his Achilles. So I just wonder, I just wonder, but again, I could point to 17 other things that make you wonder, too."

Cousins, who also revealed a gnarly scar from the surgery, says he'll probably avoid wearing longer spikes in the future. 

"I don't think I can wear screw-ins just knowing what happened," he said. "I think I gotta wear normal cleats and as a pocket passer I think I can get away with that."

Cousins said he has "about four months to go" before he'll be back to normal, which puts his timeline to being 100% or at least close to 100% some time in May, which would be well ahead of training camp.

Talk about Cousins' future was kept to a minimum during the interview, but Cousins did reiterate that he would "love to be back in Minnesota."

"Honestly, I'd love to be back in Minnesota. But even Minnesota, those conversations don't start yet. It's more late February, early March," he said. "Until we can get to March 1 maybe, maybe a little after that, you just don't really expect much."

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins at Lambeau Field on Oct. 29, 2023.