NFL

Vikings coach Zimmer 'frustrated' as 3 QBs miss practice due to COVID-19 protocols

By Sports Desk July 31, 2021

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer expressed his disappointment and frustration with unvaccinated players Saturday after three of his team's four quarterbacks missed practice due to COVID-19 protocols. 

Starting quarterback Kirk Cousins and backups Kellen Mond and Nate Stanley had to sit out the evening workout, leaving Jake Browning to take all of the reps under center. Offensive lineman Wyatt Davis, who played center Friday, also missed Saturday's practice. 

The Vikings released a statement prior to the workout that read: "Due to the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocols, multiple players will be held out of tonight's practice inside TCO Stadium."

Zimmer met with reporters before the workout and did not address the missing quarterbacks by name. 

He did, however, make a plea to his players and everyone else. 

"It’s why people should get vaccinated,’’ Zimmer said. "[If] something like this happens a day before a game that has a chance to get you to the playoffs or something like that, [it could hamper a team].

"This Delta variant is rough. You can see the cases going up every single day now. That’s why, for the sake of everybody’s health, I think it’s important. But some people don’t understand, I guess.

"I am disappointed that this happened. I’m frustrated with, not just with my football players who won’t get vaccinated, I’m frustrated with everybody [who won’t]."

It was not clear when the players who sat out Saturday's practice would be able to return. 

In the meantime, Browning will be the star of the show for the Vikings.

"Jake’s really smart," Zimmer said. "He’s vaccinated. That helps to be the backup. So as we move forward here, he’s going to get a ton of reps.

"I don’t know about saying 'it’s going to go a long way' because we’ve still a lot of camp to go. But we’ll see.

"He’s out there, he’s available, that’s important. It’s important to be available when you’re playing football, a team sport."

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