Mike Zimmer slams his quarterback room, unvaccinated Americans after COVID-19 outbreak

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The Minnesota Vikings lost three of their four quarterbacks to the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol on Saturday, and coach Mike Zimmer isn’t happy about it.

Starting quarterback Kirk Cousins, backup Nate Stanley and rookie Kellen Mond all missed practice after one of them reportedly tested positive and the other two were deemed close contacts.

Only Jake Browning, per the Minneapolis Star Tribune, was available for the practice. Zimmer said that Browning is vaccinated, which is why he doesn’t have to isolate like the others in the room.

This, Zimmer said while throwing shade at both his quarterback room and millions of Americans in general, is “why people should get vaccinated.”

“I am disappointed that this happened,” Zimmer said. “I’m frustrated with, not just my football players that won’t get vaccinated, I’m frustrated with everybody … It’s disappointing.”

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Zimmer: Browning is ‘really smart. He’s vaccinated’

It’s unclear when Cousins, Mond and Stanley will be able to return for the Vikings. It depends on a number of things, including whether or not they test positive, if they show symptoms and more.

In the meantime, though, Zimmer knows the team will have to lean on Browning — the former Washington star who is in his third year in the league, but has yet to take a snap.

Because Browning is vaccinated, Zimmer said, he’s in a great position to gain ground in his quest to earn the backup job.

"Jake's really smart. He's vaccinated," Zimmer said, via the Star Tribune. "That helps to be the backup. So, as we move forward here, he's going to get a ton of reps [Saturday night]. I don't about saying, 'It's going to go a long way,' because we've still got 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."

It’s unclear how many of the Vikings are vaccinated. The NFL said earlier this week that almost 88% of players in the league have received at least one dose, and that 19 of the 32 teams have a vaccination rate of more than 90%.

About 57% of Americans have received at least one dose as of Saturday afternoon, according to The New York Times, and almost 50% are fully vaccinated. About 54% of Minnesotans are fully vaccinated.

"Something like this happens a day before a game that has a chance to get you to the playoffs or something like that," Zimmer said, via the Star Tribune. "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."

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