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Patrick Peterson expresses concern about lack of vaccinated teammates derailing season

NFL: Minnesota Vikings Training Camp
Jul 30, 2021; Eagan, MN, United States; Minnesota Vikings defensive back Patrick Peterson (7) participates in drills at training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Zimmer isn’t the only member of the Vikings organization who is concerned that more players on the team haven’t gotten the vaccination for COVID-19. Veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson, who joined the Vikings on a one-year deal this offseason, said on his All Things Covered podcast with Bryant McFadden that his team needs “all hands on deck” in order to try to win a Super Bowl.

Right now, that’s not even close to being the case. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Vikings have the lowest vaccination rate in the NFL at 70 percent in progress and 64.5 percent fully vaccinated. Overall, 90 percent of NFL players are at least partially vaccinated.

The Vikings currently have four players on the COVID-19 reserve list, including quarterback Kirk Cousins. Cousins isn’t vaccinated and is on the list because he is considered high-risk as a result of rookie Kellen Mond having been diagnosed with COVID-19 on Saturday. Mond was believed to be vaccinated but that reportedly turned out not to be the case. Cousins and fellow quarterback Nate Stanley must quarantine for five days (until Thursday) because they were in close contact with Mond and not vaccinated. Jake Browning, who was vaccinated, is able to participate in practice under the NFL’s protocols.

“Obviously, we don’t want to have anybody go down with COVID,” Peterson said. “It’s better to have it now. Hopefully, it doesn’t happen again throughout the season. But at the same time, we need all hands on deck and I know it’s personal preference, but if you’re trying to win a championship I want to put myself in the best position possible because at the end of the day we’ve got something going here. … Obviously, you want to build depth but you have a greater chance by winning with your starters on the field.”

Peterson, 31, spent his first 10 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals and is looking for a bounce back year with the Vikings.

“If we’re healthy we’re going to compete each and every Sunday,” he said. “It’s every players’ personal preference if they want to get the vaccine or not, but, like me, I feel like I’m too important to this team not to get vaccinated. I miss an important game and now we possibly lose that game and that can be the game we needed to get into the playoffs.”

Peterson put some of the blame for his team’s lack of vaccinations on the NFL Players’ Association. “I think what the biggest problem is, being around the guys, I think the NFLPA is not doing a great job of educating us,” he said. “It’s a bunch of unknowns, and I think that’s the biggest problem right now.”