Kirk Cousins, Mike Zimmer share awkward celebration after Vikings beat Lions

Head coach Mike Zimmer of the Minnesota Vikings watches his team warm up before a preseason game against the Denver Broncos at U.S. Bank Stadium on August 14, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  ((Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images))

The Minnesota Vikings beat the Detroit Lions 19-17 on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium thanks to Greg Joseph’s 54-yard field goal as time expired, but it was the celebration between quarterback Kirk Cousins and head coach Mike Zimmer that had social media buzzing.

Cameras were on the two as Joseph’s walk-off kick split the uprights and the Vikings improved to 2-3 on the season. Cousins, standing next to Zimmer, appears to get in his face and give him a celebratory shove.

Zimmer takes off his head set, embraces Cousins briefly and then gives him a shove back before Patrick Peterson comes into high-five Zimmer. The Vikings’ head of security also grabs Zimmer to usher him to midfield, and greet Lions’ coach Dan Campbell after the game.

The video had fans speculating if the two might have been fighting and arguing with each other, rather than celebrating. Chalk it up to a fired up quarterback, and an even more fired up head coach that turned into an awkward situation.

"I was just celebrating with him. I was just fired up," Cousins said after the win.

Zimmer said Monday what Cousins did is exactly what he wants to see out of his quarterback.

"Honestly he’s doing exactly what I want him to do. He’s being a leader, he’s being vocal, he’s showing emotion. I’ve been talking to him about it all year," Zimmer said. "It’s no different than when (Sam) Bradford tackled me in practice because I was trying to get him to be the same thing. He came over and said, ‘You like that?!’ and kind of gave me a shove. I shoved him back, it’s all good."

Cousins finished with 275 yards and a touchdown to Alexander Mattison. He also led the Vikings into field goal range for Joseph after the Lions scored and got a two-point conversion to take a 17-16 lead with 37 seconds to play.

A loss to the 0-4 Lions would’ve fueled speculation about the futures of Zimmer, Rick Spielman and the rest of the Vikings’ coaching staff, with the Vikings having expectations to make the NFC Playoffs this season.

The Vikings head to Carolina this week to take on the Panthers on Sunday before their bye week.