Minnesota Vikings offensive line coach Rick Dennison is still with the team after reports surfaced that he was dismissed due to his refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
On Friday, the Vikings released a statement, and according to the team, talks are still ongoing with Dennison.
“The Vikings continue to hold discussions with Offensive Line Coach Rick Dennison regarding the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 Protocols for training camp and preseason games,” the team said in a statement,” team said. “At this time, Coach Dennison does not have an exemption to the vaccination requirements of those protocols. We will adhere to the requirements of the protocols and of applicable law.”
Dennison’s refusal comes on the heels of the league’s announcement about the possibility of forfeits and loss of game checks if they’re cancellations caused by unvaccinated players.
According to the league, Tier 1 staff members, which includes coaches, are expected to get vaccinated unless they have a religious or medical reason not to do so. Without being vaccinated, coaches will not be able to interact with players on the field or anywhere else at a team’s facility.
The 63-year-old Dennison has been the offensive line coach in Minnesota since 2019 and has been a coach in the NFL for 27 years.
This is an interesting situation for sure. Obviously, some will refuse to take the vaccine, but the NFL, as a private entity, can mandate that their coaches and players get vaccinated. The league has not said that they have to get vaccinated, but they are not making it easy for anybody that doesn’t get it done.