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During the first week of training camp, COVID protocols have sacked Vikings quarterbacks far more aggressively than any defensive lineman. With starting quarterback Kirk Cousins and backups Kellen Mond and Nate Stanley sidelined by the league’s COVID protocols, head coach Mike Zimmer is frustrated but doesn’t anticipate a divide between those who are and aren’t vaccinated:
“Maybe if some leaders miss games because of it and we end up losing games because of it, that might,” said Zimmer, per Fox News. “Guys that are leaders of your team and they don’t play and you lose the game, that might. Hopefully we don’t have to find that out.”
Though the NFL and NFLPA keep the vaccination status of players private, it’s assumed that Cousins and Stanley are not vaccinated because of their extended period of time away from the Vikings. Per NFL rules, unvaccinated players who test positive for the virus must self-isolate for 10 days and be asymptomatic before rejoining the team. A five-day quarantine is required for an unvaccinated player who tests negative but is a close contact of someone who has tested positive. Vaccinated players who are a close contact of an infected person are not required to quarantine. These players can return to the team in as little as two days.
With his QB room in flux, Zimmer is pushing for the entire team to get vaccinated, saying: “I just don’t understand. I think we could put this thing to bed if we all do this.”
Zimmer continued: “These guys, some of them just won’t do it. I shouldn’t say it, but some of the things they read is just, whew, out there. I don’t know if it’s misinformation. It’s their belief, so whatever they’ve heard or read or been told.”
Unfortunately for Zimmer, he can call the plays, but he can’t call the shots.