The Minnesota Vikings officially placed three quarterbacks on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Sunday night. Kirk Cousins, Kellen Mond and Nate Stanley are now all in the league's protocol as training camp gets underway.
Placement on the reserver/COVID-19 list does not mean the quarterbacks have tested positive, as they could also be deemed close contacts.
Fourth-string quarterback Jake Browning remains the only healthy quarterback on the team's depth chart. Players on the COVID-19 list who test positive and are symptomatic can return to practice 10 days after showing symptoms, 72 hours after last symptoms occurred or when approved by team physicians and the NFL's chief medical officer. Asymptomatic positive cases and players who are close contacts have different guidelines for when they can return.
Mond and Cousins both entered protocol on Saturday. Following the team's practice, head coach Mike Zimmer urged everyone to get vaccinated to help stop the spread.
The NFL has taken a much stricter stance on health and safety protocols in updating the guidelines from 2020 to 2021. Among the most notable changes, any games disrupted by COVID-19 outbreaks among unvaccinated players that cannot be rescheduled will result in a forfeit. Both teams scheduled to play in any game that gets forfeited for this reason will have their paychecks withheld as a result.
Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero
NFL players who aren’t fully vaccinated will be banned from nightclubs, bars, house parties, concerts, etc., with the NFL and clubs allowed to issue fines of a game check up to $50,000 for a first offense — and more thereafter — for violating protocol. Big financial consequences. <a href="https://t.co/NwWSaiSTRi">pic.twitter.com/NwWSaiSTRi</a>
"[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]," Zimmer 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].”
Aside from protection against COVID-19, vaccinated NFL players receive a number of benefits not extended to their unvaccinated teammates including no daily testing, no travel restrictions, use of the steam and sauna rooms and no quarantine required after high risk exposure to the virus.