In the unlikeliest of turns, Mike Zimmer has become a national spokesman for the vaccine movement. A man who has always been nothing but football, has in recent days, seemingly discussed nothing but the impact of Covid vaccine hold outs.
Of course, this is what happens when you lose three of your four quarterbacks before your first big public practice due to Covid restrictions.
The effusion of thoughts on the subject makes sense for Zimmer. His entire identity is wrapped around trying to win football games. Covid and unvaccinated players threaten to derail those plans. When you add in the fact that the Vikings are the least vaccinated team in the NFL it makes sense why Zimmer seemingly cannot stop talking (and being asked) about the subject.
After Tuesday’s practice Zimmer joined KFAN‘s Dan Barreiro for an on air conversation. Barreiro, who is known for rarely sticking to sports, kicked the conversation off with two off-field topics. After discussing the inevitable Jeff Gladney release, Barreiro veered into the world Zimmer has spent the last few days living in to find out how the coach feels about being seemingly knighted as a pseudo league vaccination advocate. Much of what Zimmer espoused had already been mentioned during post-practice interviews earlier this week.
But then Zimmer dropped an incredibly interesting nugget.
Have you had any conversations directly just with Kirk On this thing?
To which a somewhat exasperated Zimmer replied:
Not really, I haven’t talked to him not about whether he should or shouldn’t get vaccinated I’ve talked to him about some of the protocols which he doesn’t believe in
Zimmer went on to say his response to that is Kirk should be talking to the league’s and his own doctors, but “doesn’t believe in” could be a big deal.
To this point Kirk Cousins has been completely reluctant to discuss his thoughts on the vaccines or his personal vaccine situation, but going into last week we don’t need to ring up Sherlock Holmes to figure out Kirk was not interested. As we all heard last year: if he dies, he dies right?
Kellon Mond’s exposure confirmed Kirk’s unvaccinated status but what Zimmer said on radio goes much further into unwrapping Kirk’s thoughts on Covid. It doesn’t just end at vaccine hesitancy, or frustration with the league, it’s that he doesn’t “believe in the protocols”. That’s a hell of a situation to find yourself in as a head coach. Arguably the most important player on your team in arguably the most important year of your career (Vegas has high first-coach fired odds) is not only going to make things more difficult for you, but he doesn’t believe in the protocols that the NFL’s doctors have set forth.
Now I’m sure regardless of that belief Kirk Cousins will do what’s best for the team in terms of the protocols set forth by the league. It would be absurd to imagine that we have some sort of Cole Beasley situation on our hands. But if Kirk’s beliefs or behaviors in any way shape or form cost this team wins this year, the most divisive athlete in Minnesota history will take that title to a whole new level.
listen to the full interview here: