Vikings Clarify Ongoing Rick Dennison Situation

U.S. Bank Stadium
Aug 28, 2020; Eagan, Minnesota, USA; A general view of U.S. Bank Stadium before the Minnesota Vikings practice. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, ESPN led the way with the story about Minnesota Vikings Offensive Line Coach and Run Game Coordinator, Rick Dennison, and his apparent refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.

For a few hours, Eagan was ground zero for pandemic politics and how NFL teams were navigating newly-announced COVID protocols pertaining to teams and players — a controversial topic. Later, other teams entered the COVID-coaching waters, too.

So, this is not uniquely a Vikings situation.

But later in the day on Friday, various outlets clarified the Vikings dealings with Dennison, suggesting the situation isn’t as cut and dry as “he is in” or “he is out.” The Vikings, as an organization, released the following statement:

And ESPN even elaborated further:

While it is unlikely that Dennison instantly reassumes the position he held in 2019 and 2020 with the club, it now seems that he could be retained in some capacity as the Vikings respect his personal choice about the vaccine — and balance the delicate nature of ensuring efficient operations regarding COVID and the team.

The takeaway? The Dennison matter is fluid and not wholly resolved. Although, it is challenging to brainstorm a scenario in which Dennison coaches the offensive line as “the guy” without physically being in the proximity of his players.

In the meantime, Phil Rauscher is reported to be the docket for offensive-line coaching duties, a would-be promotion for the coach who begins his seventh year of NFL employment. Rauscher, an assistant to Dennison with the Vikings in 2020, previously spent time with the Washington Football Team and Denver Broncos.

Vikings training camp commences this Wednesday in Eagan.