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#pounditTuesday, September 21, 2021

Report: Rick Dennison will remain with Vikings after reaching agreement with team

Rick Dennison

Minnesota Vikings assistant coach Rick Dennison will not be leaving the team after all.

According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, Dennison and the Vikings have reached an agreement allowing him to stay with the team despite his refusal to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The agreement is essentially an acknowledgement that Dennison will comply with the league’s health protocols even if he doesn’t get the vaccine, and will likely limit his interaction with players and fellow coaches.

It had been reported Friday that Dennison would leave the Vikings over his refusal to get vaccinated. However, Florio says that report came from a member of the coaching staff who offered up either bad or premature information. Dennison had requested an exemption from vaccination from the Vikings, who had not yet responded to that request as of Friday.

Under the NFL’s protocols, Tier 1 staff members are effectively required to be vaccinated unless they provide a valid medical or religious reason. Those who are not vaccinated lose Tier 1 status, meaning they cannot be on the field, in meeting rooms, or have direct access to players. Dennison would fall under the Tier 1 designation as an assistant coach. It’s apparent that his direct access to players will be limited or nonexistent even with an agreement with the team.

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