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Mike Zimmer Encouraging COVID-19 Vaccinations After MIN QBs Enter NFL Protocols 

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 1, 2021

Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Add Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer to the list of head coaches who aren't thrilled with their unvaccinated players. 

The team had multiple players miss Saturday's practice after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, which reportedly includes quarterbacks Kirk Cousins and Kellen Mond, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com.

Zimmer addressed the situation while speaking with reporters:

Chris Tomasson @christomasson

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Vikings?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Vikings</a> coach Mike Zimmer said he can't talk about any specific names about those in COVID-19 protocols.: Says "that's why people should get vaccinated."

Chris Tomasson @christomasson

Mike Zimmer on Jake Browning being vaccinated: "It's important to be available when you're playing football in a team sport."

Chris Tomasson @christomasson

Jake Browning is expected to get all the reps at QB with Kirk Cousins, Kellen Mond and Nate Stanley in COVID-19 protocols. "He's vaccinated. That helps to be the backup,'' Mike Zimmer said about Browning.

Chris Tomasson @christomasson

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Vikings?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Vikings</a> coach Mike Zimmer said he's disappointed that this happened. Asked if it could be a wake-up call regarding vaccination, Zimmer said. "Some people are pretty staunch."

Earlier on Saturday, Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera offered a similar viewpoint after guard Brandon Scherff and tackle David Sharpe became the fifth and sixth players on the team to be put on the reserve/COVID-19 list, per John Keim of ESPN. 

Rivera noted that it makes trying to evaluate players more difficult if they're missing time because of the coronavirus. 

"That's part of the problem, to be very honest," he said . "That's going to make things difficult, and that's the thing we have to be aware of. It'll make it difficult in terms of everybody working together, difficult on us as coaches with our evaluations and scouts, and it'll be difficult on the player because having time off, not really getting an opportunity to work and develop and grow and learning. That's the downfall and that's the downside."

Zimmer was clearly frustrated with the developments on his own football team. 

"[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]," he told reporters. "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, not just with my football players who didn't get vaccinated, but I'm frustrated with everybody [who didn't].”

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According to Keim, 89.4 percent of players around the NFL have been vaccinated. 

According to the CDC, the coronavirus vaccine is "safe and effective at preventing COVID-19, including severe illness and death" and at preventing its variants, though it is recommending people return to masking in indoor public spaces. If fully vaccinated people do get the coronavirus, those cases "tend to be mild."

U.S. health officials said this week that "97 percent of new hospitalizations and 99.5 percent of deaths in the U.S. are among unvaccinated individuals," per Berkeley Lovelace Jr. of CNBC. 

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