It was reported earlier today that Rick Dennison is out as the offensive line coach/run game coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings. The team’s recent statement, however, makes it seem like that’s not the case – at least not yet.
Minnesota was very careful with the way it worded its latest press release, stating that discussions with Dennison are ongoing.
“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. “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”
The COVID-19 vaccine is required for Tier 1 staff, which includes coaches, executives and other staff members. In order to receive a pass from the NFL, a Tier 1 staff member must provide a “valid religious or medical reason,” as to why they won’t get the vaccine. As of now, Dennison doesn’t check off that box.
#Vikings choosing words very carefully in officially announcing the situation w/ OL coach Rick Dennison.
Team says they "continue to hold discussions" and "at this time, Dennison does not have an exemption to vaccination requirements." pic.twitter.com/Z8FB3MdccJ
— Chris Long (@ChrisLongKSTP) July 23, 2021
It’s going to be very interesting to see how this situation plays out.
Vikings running back Alexander Mattison already showed his support for Dennison on social media, tweeting “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.”
Dennison isn’t the only NFL assistant coach who could miss this season because of the new guidelines. Moments ago, it was announced that New England Patriots co-offensive line coach Cole Popovich won’t be with the team this fall.