Dennison stays with Vikings as advisor after vaccine refusal

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Rick Dennison will serve the Minnesota Vikings as a senior offensive advisor in 2021 after losing his gig as offensive line coach for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine, the team announced.

Phil Rauscher, who worked as the assistant offensive line coach the previous two seasons, will ascend to the top role in 2021. Ben Steele will serve as Rauscher's assistant.

Minnesota removed Dennison as offensive line coach and run game coordinator before training camp after he failed to receive a vaccine exemption.

The NFL requires all Tier 1 staff - coaches, front-office executives, equipment managers, and scouts - to get vaccinated because of their frequent contact with players and other coaches. As an advisor, Dennison won't be required to take the vaccine.

"He's going to watch the practice with the offensive coaches, he's going to be helping to evaluate," head coach Mike Zimmer said, according to ESPN's Courtney Cronin.

Zimmer added: "And then the next part, as we start getting ready for the games in the season, he'll be helping with game plan ideas, third-down ideas, protection ideas, things like that."

Dennison began his NFL coaching career in 1995 and has three Super Bowl rings from his time with the Denver Broncos. He's entering his third season on the Vikings' staff.

Dennison stays with Vikings as advisor after vaccine refusal
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