While the Vikings were on the bus leaving MetLife Stadium following Sunday’s 28-10 victory over the Giants, Kirk Cousins got a text message from his agent, Mike McCartney, that the quarterback thought was a joke.
“He said, ‘The White House reached out to me and just wanted you to call this number,’ ” Cousins said. “I said, ‘Are you serious?’ thinking it was a joke, and I was going to call some prank number. And he said, ‘No, very [serious].’ So I just called them on the bus, heading to the airport. I didn’t know what I was doing — I was just calling the White House, and they just said, ‘Hold for the president.’ It was just a 30-second call, saying congratulations, and that was it.”
Cousins professed as much surprise as anyone Wednesday, as he recalled his brief phone call with President Donald Trump. He described the call as “very out of the blue, very random,” but added he’d react the same way to any presidential phone call.
“When the president calls — I don’t care who it is, left, right, whatever, down the middle — if he says call me, I’m going to give him a call and see what he needs.”
Trump is holding a campaign rally at Target Center on Thursday night, but a team spokesman said Tuesday — when news of the call first surfaced — that Cousins is not planning to attend the rally. On Wednesday, when asked if he was invited, Cousins said, “No, it didn’t go there.”
Asked if he was worried about a phone call from Trump dividing the Vikings’ locker room, coach Mike Zimmer said, “I don’t know. I’m not in charge of all those political things. I’m staying out of that. I think they played golf together or something. I don’t know. I don’t really get into it. I’m a football coach. It’s what I do.”
The quarterback played golf with the president at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., in 2017.
Bailey earns honors
Vikings kicker Dan Bailey won NFC special teams player of the week honors, after hitting all four of his field-goal attempts against the Giants.
Bailey is the first Vikings player to win the award since Kai Forbath, who kicked six field goals against the Ravens on Oct. 22, 2017. Sunday was also the first time Bailey had connected on four field goals in a game since Week 16 of the 2017 season, kicking for the Cowboys in a 21-12 loss to the Seahawks.
Bailey is 7-for-8 on field-goal attempts this season, after beating out Kaare Vedvik in a peculiar preseason kicking competition. He’s now been named NFC special teams player of the week four times in his career, after three honors in his seven years with the Cowboys.
“It really comes down to the operation,” Bailey said. “I thought we’ve really gotten in a good groove here, as far as me, [holder] Britton [Colquitt] and [long snapper] Austin [Cutting]. They’ve made my job pretty easy. Obviously, you keep this one in your back pocket and enjoy it. But it’s time to move on and just keep knocking them through.”
Sendejo a scout
On a conference call with Philadelphia reporters on Wednesday morning, Zimmer said he expected former Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo (who signed with the Eagles this offseason) would “sing like a canary” about the Vikings’ defensive scheme.
Sendejo was with the Vikings for Zimmer’s first five seasons as head coach, starting 48 regular-season games during that time. In addition to whatever advice the safety provides, coach Doug Pederson can also work off his knowledge of the Vikings from two matchups with the Vikings in the past 21 months.
A week after facing his former offensive coordinator in Giants coach Pat Shurmur, Zimmer didn’t sound too worried about whatever insight the Eagles can glean.
“Sendejo was always a smart player,” Zimmer said. “Some players, they don’t know much about the scheme, they kind of know a little about their area or what they do. But he knows a lot about everything. I’m sure he’s given them little tips. We’ll make adjustments. This is the NFL. Guys go on different teams all the time.”
Linebacker Ben Gedeon (concussion), guard Josh Kline (foot) and nose tackle Linval Joseph (noninjury related) didn’t practice Wednesday. Cornerback Mackensie Alexander (elbow, groin) and linebacker Kentrell Brothers (hamstring, wrist) were limited.