Vikings fire OL coach Rick Dennison for refusing to get COVID-19 vaccine

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The Minnesota Vikings have seized the NFC North spotlight away from the growing dysfunction in Green Bay. Per ESPN’s Courtney Cronin, the Vikings have fired offensive line coach and run game coordinator Rick Dennison just before the start of training camp because the veteran coach refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

While NFL players can refuse to get vaccinated without worry about losing their jobs, coaches are not afforded the same protection. Dennison would have been forced to coach without direct in-person contact with either the players or his fellow coaches by not getting the vaccine, per NFL COVID-19 protocols.

The Vikings elevated Phil Rauscher from his assistant OL coach position to take over for Dennison, who has been with the Vikings since the 2019 season. The 63-year-old Dennison was the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos during their Super Bowl-winning season in 2015 and has also been a coordinator for the Texans and Bills.

He is believed to be the first official Tier 1 job casualty of the NFL’s new COVID-19 restrictions.

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