Kirk Cousins became the center of scrutiny surrounding the vaccine. The starting quarterback has rested on his “personal” decision to remain unvaccinated — a decision many Vikings players have followed suit.
The Vikings were previously reported as the least-vaccinated team in the NFL, with 70% of players either fully vaccinated or in the process of becoming vaccinated at the start of August, per The Washington Post. The team’s vaccination rate has peeved coach Mike Zimmer, who has harped on his players to get vaccinated.
Zimmer invited an epidemiologist and infectious disease expert to the team’s practice facility on Monday with time ticking before the vaccination process could interfere with the regular season.
The team will have more conversations around the controversial issue that has questioned the chemistry and potential conflict in the Vikings locker room.
Minnesota native Adam Thielen dispelled the gossip.
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During the Vikings’ preseason meeting with the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, sideline reporter Ben Leber asked Thielen a tough question on-air.
“These last few months, there’s been divisiveness across the country, and many have wondered has that divisiveness crept into the Vikings locker room,” Lever said. “How unified is this group right now going into the season?”
“Extremely unified,” Thielen replied. “I’m so blessed and thankful to have the teammates that I have. We have such a great locker room and such a great group of men. Guys from all different places, all different views and different things that they have going on in their lives. We all come together, and we talk about it. We have discussion, we talk about things — someone feels one way, someone feels something else — we talk about it. We hash it out, and we move on.”
Leber, a former Vikings linebacker, spoke to the space the Vikings locker room has served in helping players from different backgrounds to meet each other where they are and develop deeper understandings of each others’ backgrounds. Thielen concurred.
It’s such a cool thing,” Thielen added. “I wish the world could see how we handle things in our locker room… Guys from all over the place that we would never know each other if it weren’t for football, it’s a pretty cool and special thing to be a part of.”
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Vikings Stars’ Vaccination Status
Under NFL protocols, unvaccinated players must wear masks when not playing, leaving outside sources to speculate whether a player wearing a mask is a sign of their vaccination status.
KFAN’s Paul Allen on the Nine to Noon radio show said that he knows “at least three (Vikings) players who will quit before they will vaccinate.”
“End of story. There are three players, I know, who will quit before they get the (COVID-19) vaccine,” Allen added, per The Viking Age.
Time will tell what direction the team will go as more medical discoveries are released daily.