Minnesota Vikings assistant coach Rick Dennison will remain with the team, contrary to a report last Friday (July 23) that he was fired for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine.
Pro Football Talk reports both sides reached an agreement to keep Dennison in Minnesota on Tuesday (July 27), which acknowledges that the team and coach will comply with the NFL’s applicable COVID protocols, whether the veteran offensive line coach is vaccinated or not.
The league’s protocols will likely limit Dennison’s ability to directly interact with players should he refuse to get vaccinated. The 63-year-old assistant had previously requested an exemption from vaccination, according to Pro Football Talk.
Dennison served as the Vikings’ offensive line coach and run game coordinator during the past two seasons.
Hours after reports of Dennison being terminated on Friday, the Boston Globe‘s Jim McBride reported co-offensive line coach Cole Popovich would not return to the Patriots’ staff in 2021, which ESPN‘s Mike Reiss confirmed was a decision made in relation “to the COVID-19 vaccine and NFL guidelines.”
The vaccine is required for all Tier 1 NFL staff, which includes coaches, front-office executives, equipment managers, and scouts in adherence with league policy.