Kirk Cousins Says He ‘Never’ Doubted Picking Football as His Career: ’That’s a Real Blessing’ (Exclusive)

The NFL star said he's feeling "grateful" after undergoing surgery on his torn Achilles on Wednesday

<p>Quinn Harris/Getty</p> Kirk Cousins

Quinn Harris/Getty

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins is living the dream.

Not long before the Minnesota Vikings quarterback, 35, suffered a season-ending tear to his Achilles in the fourth quarter of Minnesota's 24-10 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Cousins spoke to PEOPLE about his love for the game.

"I've never gone to work and wondered if I should be doing something else for a living or if I'm in the wrong career, or if I need to switch jobs," says Cousins, who starred in Netflix's Quarterback docuseries this year alongside Patrick Mahomes and Marcus Mariota.

Cousins tells PEOPLE his "favorite part" of life in the NFL is simply being a part of the league he loves so dearly. "I think that's a real blessing in and of itself, to go to work every day and feel like you're living a dream," he says.

The father of two young boys, Cousins says it's "just such a privilege" to play in the NFL, and he'd "love to be able to play long enough" for Turner, 4, and Cooper, 5½, to "be able to really remember their dad playing and what that was like."

The quarterback says he doesn't think his sons, who he shares with his wife Julie Hampton Cousins, "know what the word 'retire' means just yet," but they're "starting" to become more intrigued by their dad's NFL career.

<p>The Washington Post/Getty </p> Kirk Cousins (8) kisses his wife Julie Cousins

The Washington Post/Getty

Kirk Cousins (8) kisses his wife Julie Cousins

Related: Kirk Cousins Talks Bonding with Younger Vikings Teammates: 'The Locker Room Keeps Me Young' (Exclusive)

"They're just starting to get it now," he says. "They're 6 and 4, and so they're watching football on TV. They're starting to learn the mascots and the jerseys and the colors."

Cooper started attending games and he's "able to sit in the stadium and watch," says Cousins, while Turner "still goes to the childcare that the team provides" for players with children.

"Hopefully, in a few more years when I do retire, they'll both really be able to remember it all," says Cousins.

Drafted in 2012 by the then-Washington Redskins, Cousins' career has long outlasted most NFL players. According to ESPN, the average length of playing careers in the league is just 3.3 years.

<p> Stephen Maturen/Getty</p> Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings warms up prior to the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the New York Giants

The quarterback knows retirement is imminent, but for now, Cousins' plan is simple. "Hopefully, I can do it as long as possible," he says.

On Wednesday, the quarterback shared an update after undergoing surgery on his torn Achilles.

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In a post on Instagram, Cousins gives a thumbs up to the camera while recovering in a hospital bed. The photo shows Cousins' foot and lower leg wrapped in a cast in the Vikings' signature purple.

Related: Kirk Cousins Says Quarterbacks Like Tom Brady and Drew Brees 'Set the Bar High' for Playing Longer (Exclusive)

Cousins wrote, "Surgery was a success! Grateful for your prayers, Dr. Coetzee’s abilities, and our medical team. Would appreciate continued prayers! One day at a time."

The Vikings star received an outpour of support from fans and NFL personalities after his procedure.

Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders commented, "Praying for u my man and u will be back better than ever. God bless u."

Las Vegas Raiders placekicker Daniel Carlson wrote, "Praying for you and the fam! look forward to seeing you out there again soon!"

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