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Rick Dennison out as Vikings offensive line coach after he refuses to get vaccinated: ESPN

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Vikings coach Rick Dennison
Vikings coach Rick Dennison is no longer with the team, ESPN reported. Brett Carlsen
  • A Minnesota Vikings assistant coach is no longer with the team after he refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine, ESPN reported.

  • Offensive line coach Rick Dennison reportedly chose not to be vaccinated against the virus.

  • Dennison is likely the first NFL coach to leave his team over the mandatory vaccines, according to ESPN.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A Minnesota Vikings assistant coach is no longer with the team after he refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19, ESPN reported Friday.

Offensive line coach Rick Dennison - who has been with the team for two seasons - reportedly chose not to be vaccinated. The NFL is requiring all coaches, equipment managers, front-office executives, and scouts to get the vaccine.

ESPN reported that Dennison is likely the first NFL coach to leave his team over the mandatory vaccines. He has nearly three decades of coaching experience under his belt.

In an NFL memo released earlier this summer, the league said any unvaccinated Tier 1 staff member must offer up a valid religious or medical reason for not getting the shot, according to ESPN.

Without the vaccine, Dennison would have been unable to keep his Tier 1 status, meaning he would be unable to coach on the field or meet with players, essentially leaving him unable to coach through the season. The Vikings are scheduled to start training camp next week.

NFL players are not required to get the COVID-19 vaccine, however, the league reportedly told teams on Thursday that they could potentially forfeit games in the upcoming 18-week season in 2021 if there is a coronavirus outbreak among unvaccinated players. Additionally, players who choose not to get vaccinated will have to adhere to strict rules starting in training camp and going all the way through the season, including everyday testing, mask-wearing, and restricted travel.

According to a Thursday NFL memo outlining the new rule, more than half of the league's clubs had more than 80% of their players inoculated, while almost all clubs had a 100% vaccination rate among Tier 1 and Tier 2 staff.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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