Vikings will have epidemiologist speak to team about vaccines

USA TODAY Sports

As evidenced by the number of players wearing masks on the sidelines during Saturday night’s preseason loss to the Colts, the Vikings still have plenty of players who haven’t gotten vaccinated. The Vikings will make another run at changing minds on Monday.

Via NFL Media, epidemiologist and infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm will speak to the team on Monday.

The issue of vaccination hesitation among Vikings players had gotten quiet in recent days. Peter King described the situation in Monday’s Football Morning in America as a “comatose issue.” Today’s session could wake it up again.

“I went pretty hard there for a while with our quarterback [Kirk Cousins], and a bunch of other guys, good players, who are not vaccinated,” coach Mike Zimmer said, per King. “I’ve said my piece. They’re got their heels dug in. I think it would’ve showed them what could happen when we had one quarterback for practice and we had to bring in two guys off the street. But they’re not gonna change. I just said the heck with it. I’m done talking about it.”

That’s what makes the decision to bring an expert in to talk about the situation so surprising. Cousins won’t be changing his mind. Others likely won’t be changing their minds. Even though not being vaccinated means: (1) daily testing; and (2) a minimum absence of 10 days if a player tests positive.

Cornerback Patrick Peterson has tried to get his new teammates to realize the obvious link between vaccination and availability. To no avail. Which means that the Vikings will be at constant risk of losing one or more key players before a game that potentially becomes a loss without them. And it’s one loss that can tip the scales away from a playoff berth.

Another argument that Zimmer, Peterson, and others can now make is this: FDA approval officially has arrived for the Pfizer vaccine. Of course, those who have hidden behind the lack of FDA approval undoubtedly will pivot to another talking point, or possibly just claim (without a shred of proof) that the FDA approval process was in some way rigged.

Finally, any unvaccinated players on the Vikings or other teams need to realize that, after the next preseason game, a mini-bye is coming. Vaccinated players can leave town. Unvaccinated players can’t. Between Dr. Osterholm’s comments and the FDA approval and the ability to enjoy the bye week that replaces what was the fourth regular-season game, maybe a few guys will finally realize that it’s time to do the right thing for themselves, their teams, and society.

No matter how many have that epiphany, it won’t be enough.

25 responses to “Vikings will have epidemiologist speak to team about vaccines

  1. Good! I saw the Joe Rogan podcast with Michael Osterholm a few days before we all got locked down in March of 2020. Everything he said in that hour long interview has been spot on. This guy is as knowledgeable as they come. BTW, he also speaks very frankly about the relative uselessness of cloth masks with this virus.

  2. Zim just admitted it. “When the going gets tough, I just quit”.

    Way to lead, Mike. You’ve lost all control.

  3. cut them. does no good to keep them around if they’re going to be out half the season and risk getting others sick.

  4. “Vaccinated players can leave town. Unvaccinated players can’t…maybe a few guys will finally realize that it’s time to do the right thing for themselves ”
    ___________

    Aren’t they already too late for that? You’re not protected until you’ve had both shots. If the NFL is allowing guys to get their first shot and then immediately leave town that’d be pretty silly.

  5. I was born the same year as the franchise, so have seen a lot of pain as a Vikings fan. This is most likely the straw that breaks this old camel’s back. The selfishness of Cousins is hard to understand, in what is a team sport. But he has never been a team player. I feel bad for Zimmer; his job is on the line, and he has a stats only multi-millionaire QB acting like a baby.

  6. I know its been used many time here before but once again it seems appropriate here – You can’t fix stupid.

  7. The hundreds of drugs athletes have taken over the course of a career and this is where they draw the line.

  8. The FDA just granted full official approval to the Pfizer vaccine, so one bogus excuse just expired.

  9. Now that the FDA has approved the one vaccine, the NFL needs to require the vaccination. If they don’t comply their contracts are voided. Boy would that be a nice way to get out of the ridiculous amount of money Cousins has guaranteed.

  10. Folks, I can tell you this is no hoax. I’m roughly 10 days into my little dance with the Delta variant of Covid-19. Thankfully, I was vaccinated, so my body had enough antibodies to fight this thing from the start. Otherwise, says my completely trusted doc, this cabbage would be coleslaw.

    Don’t let your politics kill you or a loved one. This thing is absolutely for real.

  11. Hopefully the epidemiologist can convince the holdouts why they should get vaccinated. Maybe he could show them the FULL ICU’s in the gulf coast that contain the unvaccinated ages 30-50! If seeing the unvaccinated patients on ventilators doesn’t convince them , nothing will!

  12. I applaud and support the Vikings for educating their players on this very important issue. This transcends football.

  13. Finally, any unvaccinated players on the Vikings or other teams need to realize that, after the next preseason game, a mini-bye is coming. Vaccinated players can leave town. Unvaccinated players can’t.

    Literally can’t get any simpler than that.
    Get Vaccinated and you can travel, don’t and you can have a stay-cation
    They shouldn’t even get the others the week off.

  14. I don’t really think it’s going to make any difference. The people who believe the earth is flat, aren’t using the same logic as those who think differently, and nobody is going to change their minds. People are dying every day, and getting admitted to Intensive Care Units in hospitals because they didn’t believe in the science. I can’t blame anyone who wants to do their own research. I don’t listen to everything everyone tells me, either. The voices we’re hearing on TV might not be the most credible voices because we’re so divided and everyone thinks the other side is pure evil. And we all blame the other side for that, too. Thank God for football season! Hope we get in another full schedule this year.

  15. This lack of responsibility regarding vaccinations during a worldwide pandemic has to be one of the most Viking things ever!

  16. I don’t like the free pass the so called hometown hero Thielen gets nor Harrison smith. These guys are just as guilty. This is why the Vikings celebrate 4 lost Super Bowls

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