Skip to main content

Zimmer on unvaccinated players: 'Some of the things they've read are just, woof, out there'

The Vikings head coach continues to pull no punches.
Mike Zimmer

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer was candid once again Monday when discussing – for the second time in 48 hours – why some players on the team refuse to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The topic is top of mind at training camp in Eagan since rookie quarterback Kellen Mond tested positive for COVID, subsequently sending not only him, but also high-risk close contacts Kirk Cousins and Nate Stanley to the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

All three quarterbacks weren't available for Saturday night's practice, and they remain out for an unknown period of time this week. Asked if he knows when Cousins and company can return to practice, Zimmer said "no." 

Zimmer then questioned why players are refusing to get vaccinated against a disease that has killed at least 4.23 million people around the world in the past 18 months. 

"There's quite a few guys that are just against it. I'm not going to be able to change their mind. Just like half the country, I guess," Zimmer said. 

"These guys, some of them just won't do it. I shouldn't say it, but some of the things they've read are just, woof, out there," the coach added. "It's their belief, so whatever they've heard or read or been told, or maybe they don't believe what Dr. [Allen] Sills and the NFL is telling them. I don't know."

Follow Bring Me The Sports on Facebook

Jake Browning was the only quarterback available for Saturday's practice. Mond tested positive so he's automatically out, and any unvaccinated players who are potentially exposed to someone with the virus are forced into mandatory quarantine. 

It's a clear signal that Cousins and Stanley haven't been vaccinated, whereas Browning has been. It's a reality that Zimmer is trying to accept, though he questioned whether team leaders who miss games that ultimately become losses could lead to issues in the locker room. 

"I just don't understand. I just don't understand," Zimmer said. "I think we could put this thing to bed if we'd all do this [get vaccinated], but it is what it is."

You can watch back his press conference below. 

Next Up

fire truck

Explosion reported near Hastings; man airlifted to hospital

Authorities say the victim has serious injuries.

Screen Shot 2022-10-05 at 2.30.07 PM

School faces uncertain future after land sold to Catholic nonprofit

The school near Marine on St. Croix sits on land that's just been sold.


Boy suffers 'life-threatening' injuries in car-bike collision in Minneapolis

Police said the driver is cooperating with the investigation.

North Memorial Health Hospital

Man dies from gunshot wounds after Minneapolis shooting

The death marked the 69th homicide of the year in the city.


Gallery: Island cabin is one of northernmost homes for sale in MN

Want to buy one of the northernmost homes on the market in Minnesota?

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 4.54.42 PM

Charges: Houston men robbed Edina bank of $110,000

A third suspect has not yet been identified.

Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys coming to Minnesota for 2023 tour

The rock band hasn't gone on tour in the United States since 2019.


Kirk Cousins

Vikings owners 'very concerned' about unvaccinated players

Overall, the NFL has rather healthy vaccination rates.

Kirk Cousins

Report: Kellen Mond has COVID, Cousins among players out of practice

The team is scheduled to practice on Saturday night.

Mike Zimmer

Frustrated Zimmer sounds off after Vikings' positive COVID test

"I’m frustrated, not just with my football players who didn’t get vaccinated, but I’m frustrated with everybody [who didn't]."


Osterholm speaks to Vikings about importance of getting vaccinated

The Vikings reportedly have one of the lowest vaccination rates in the NFL.

Mike Zimmer

Zimmer on no fans: 'We weren't getting much help from the governor'

The Vikings said the decision was based on advice from medical experts.

Harrison Smith

Zimmer says his unvaccinated players will have 'harder time' this season

Vaccinated players will experience a more normal 2021 season.