Rick Dennison’s Tenure in Minnesota Ends After Refusing COVID-19 Vaccine
The NFL’s new ruling to encourage its players/coaches to get vaccinated has seen a lot of pushback over the past 24 hours. As a result, Minnesota Vikings’ offensive line coach/running game coordinator, Rick Dennison will not be coaching this upcoming season. Per ESPN’s Courtney Cronin, Dennison’s two-year tenure in Minnesota ends after refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
While players can only be encouraged to be vaccinated, the NFL is requiring all Tier 1 coaches, those closest to the players, to get the vaccine. In addition, if an outbreak among unvaccinated players were to occur and a game could not be rescheduled, that team would be forced to forfeit. Needless to say, the NFL is taking things very seriously this year after a 2020 season with multiple reschedules as well as a game where the Denver Broncos were forced to play QB-less football against the New Orleans Saints.
As aforementioned, this COVID-19 crackdown has not extremely popular in some crowds, even for its biggest stars. Buffalo’s Cole Beasley has been very open about his disdain for the vaccine. Even Cardinal WR DeAndre Hopkins seems to be reflecting on his NFL career after the latest set of rules have come out.
As for replacing Dennison, the Vikings are reportedly promoting assistant o-line coach Phil Rauscher, and they have hired Auburn’s special teams analyst Ben Steele to assist him.