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Vikings comment on COVID vaccine situation with O-line coach Rick Dennison

An earlier report said Dennison had been let go.
Rick Dennison

The Vikings have provided a brief comment on the reported situation with offensive line coach Rick Dennison. 

Earlier in the day, ESPN's Courtney Cronin reported Dennison had been let go because he refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The NFL has mandated that all Tier 1 staff, which includes coaches, can only have full access to in-person team functions if they are fully vaccinated.

Later Friday afternoon, the Vikings provided a public statement that provides little clarity, but suggests Dennison's time with the franchise isn't definitively over. The statement said:

"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. 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."

This leaves the door open for Dennison to remain, though it appears that would require some sort of resolution to his vaccination status. 

Dennison has been Minnesota's offensive line coach and run game coordinator the past two seasons.

The move has drawn negative reaction from Vikings running back Alexander Mattison, who tweeted: "Smh, they act as if we didn’t successfully play a whole season last year. Don’t make no sense. I’m rockin wit you 100% coach." 

Players cannot be forced to get vaccinated. 

Per Cronin, the Vikings have promoted assistant offensive line coach Phil Rauscher to the lead offensive line coach.

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