Minnesota Vikings president Mark Wilf said Tuesday, Aug. 3, the team is “very concerned” about the hesitancy of some players to be vaccinated.
The Washington Post reported that the Vikings have the lowest vaccination rate in the NFL with 70 percent in process and 64 percent fully vaccinated.
“Well, we’re very concerned,” Wilf said. “I think it’s safe to say that our No. 1 priority is the health and safety of our players, our coaches, our staff and, ultimately, the entire community. From that standpoint, we really are encouraging people to take the vaccines, to get vaccinated. We’re proud of the fact that we’ve partnered with the State of Minnesota to have our facility here used as a vaccination center in the offseason. We just want everybody to follow the protocols. We’re trying to educate everyone in the organization, the team, to make sure and get the vaccinations.”
The Vikings already have moved Rick Dennison from offensive line coach to senior offensive advisor after he refused to be vaccinated. The Vikings have four players on the COVID-19 reserve list: quarterbacks Kirk Cousins, Kellen Mond and Nate Stanley, and receiver Myron Mitchell.
Mond tested positive last Saturday, and Cousins and Stanley were deemed high-risk close contacts. Asked if he plans to speak directly to Cousins, the starting quarterback, about not being vaccinated, Wilf said those on the football side are talking to players as a team.
“We’ve worked with Coach (Mike Zimmer) and (general manager) Rick (Spielman) on this, and we’re really approaching it (where) all conversations are really to the team,” Wilf said. “That’s the standpoint we come from. (Athletic trainer) Eric Sugarman, our entire medical team, just really making sure that everyone has the full facts, that there’s not any misinformation about this and to understand all the ramifications of these decisions.”
Wilf, who declined to say how many Vikings players have been vaccinated, called getting vaccination very important for health, adding that “the competitive side is, of course, concerning.”
“With the Delta variant and other new permutations going on, we just want to make sure to reserve the health and safety,” he said. “That’s the standpoint that we come from as ownership and as an organization.”