EAGAN, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was activated Thursday from the COVID-19 reserve list after completing the NFL’s required five-day quarantine for unvaccinated players deemed a high-risk close contact with an infected person.

Admittedly frustrated by the rarity of him missing practice, Cousins vowed to go to even greater lengths to create social distancing and avoid another absence – even if it means setting up Plexiglas around his seat or “meeting outside under a goal post in January.”

As for getting vaccinated, as the league has urged, Cousins described his stance as “a very private health matter” but declined to elaborate further.

“I do believe that as a leader of the team it’s very important to follow the protocols to avoid this close contact, because that is what it’s going to come down to,” Cousins said.

He later added: “I’m at peace with where I’m at, and I’ll follow the protocols vigilantly.”

The Vikings also activated Nate Stanley, bringing their quarterback cadre much closer to full strength after a tenuous stretch of practices in the early portion of camp. Rookie Kellen Mond, the player who tested positive, remained on the reserve list and away from the team.

The reason Cousins triggered the high-risk close contact quarantine period, he said, was that the Vikings discovered the quarterback meeting room was too small to allow proper distancing – not that he was actually too close to Mond. The quarterbacks have since moved to a different space.

“I worked on my own, did all the virtual meetings, was able to do the best I could with the situation we had. I do believe the protocols work, and that’s why I believe I didn’t have COVID after being in a meeting room like that, because the mask and the social distancing works,” Cousins said.

Cousins, Mond and Stanley were sidelined Saturday, leaving Jake Browning – who is vaccinated and therefore not subject to the same quarantine protocols – as the only quarterback available for the open-to-the-public session that night. Danny Etling and Case Cookus were signed this week to help lighten the load on Browning in drills.

OFFICIALS: NFL officiating chief Al Riveron, a Cuban who became the league’s first Hispanic referee, retired.

Riveron worked as an on-field official for nine years and became a member of the NFL’s officiating staff in 2013 as a senior director.

He will be replaced by two of the league’s senior vice president in officiating, Walter Anderson, a former referee, and Perry Fewell, a former coach.

DOLPHINS: Three of the four Miami Dolphins players who had been on the COVID-19 reserve list were removed from it.

Coming off the list were tight ends Cethan Carter and Adam Shaheen and receiver Preston Williams. Tight end Mike Gesicki remained on the list.

Williams is still on the physically unable to perform list as he recovers from a 2020 foot injury.

The team released tight end Gabe Holmes and waived tight ends Sal Cannella and Kalif Jackson.

TITANS: The Tennessee Titans haven’t needed their backup quarterback since Ryan Tannehill took over as the starter in 2019, though competition for that job took another twist.

The team signed free agent Matt Barkley and released DeShone Kizer, who had played on the practice squad last season. That was the most notable of several moves made as the Titans also signed tackle Brent Qvale, guard Ross Reynolds and tight end Donnie Ernsberger.

They placed cornerback Greg Mabin and offensive lineman Spencer Pulley on injured reserve.

Barkley, 31, will compete with Logan Woodside for the No. 2 spot after spending his last three seasons in Buffalo.

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