UPDATE: Minnesota released a statement that the franchise will “continue to hold discussions” with Dennison about his future, according to Sports Illustrated. At this point in time, it’s unclear whether or not he’s still a member of the organization.
The Minnesota Vikings have reportedly cut ties with assistant coach Rick Dennison.
According to ESPN, Dennison has left the team after refusing to get the coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine is mandatory for all coaches, front office executives and scouts, according to the same report. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)
It’s believed that Dennison is the first person in the NFL to lose his job for refusing to get the vaccine.
After refusing to receive a vaccine for COVID-19, Rick Dennison is out as a Vikings assistant coach, sources told @CourtneyRCronin.
Dennison is believed to be the first NFL position coach to part ways with his team after choosing not to receive a vaccine. https://t.co/IcdgzQQ3LQ
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 23, 2021
The Minnesota Vikings later released a statement that the team would “continue to hold discussions” with Dennison about the situation.
This is a wild situation, and I definitely didn’t expect this to happen. There’s been a ton of chatter about what might happen if someone doesn’t get vaccinated in the NFL, and we now know what will happen if a coach doesn’t.
They’ll promptly be shown the door, and that’ll be the end of that.
Breaking: Rick Dennison is out as Vikings offensive line coach/run game coordinator after refusing the COVID-19 vaccine. MIN will promote assistant OL coach Phil Rauscher to replace Dennison, hired Auburn special teams analyst Ben Steele as an assistant. https://t.co/3oOgXHsaMr
— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) July 23, 2021
As for players, the league can’t mandate vaccines for them, but there will be harsh penalties for teams with an outbreak among unvaccinated players.
Clearly, the NFL intends on making this situation as tough as possible to incentivize getting the vaccine.
Here’s more from today’s memo, which also says the team responsible for a canceled game because of an outbreak among unvaccinated players/staff will be responsible for financial losses and subject to potential discipline from the commissioner. Wow. pic.twitter.com/Q86a2WcG1K
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 22, 2021
We’ll see how many more coaches also lose their jobs. Something tells me that we’re not done just yet.