Featured Posts | Vikings

Vikings head athletic trainer tests positive for COVID-19

NFL Painkillers Football
FILE – In this Nov. 3, 2013, file photo, Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes (29) is attended to by head trainer Eric Sugarman duriing the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas. Documents unsealed in a lawsuit by 1,800 former NFL players provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how team and league medical personnel distributed powerful painkillers to players. According to a Jan. 17, 2008 e-mail from Sugarman to team doctors and medical personnel, that was unsealed Friday, March 10, 2017, medications like Ambien, a sedative, and Toradol, a post-surgical painkiller, were distributed to players and not accurately tracked by the team’s dispensing records. An NFL spokesman said, “clubs and their medical staffs are all in compliance with the Controlled Substances Act. … Any claim or suggestion to the contrary is simply wrong.” (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

Eric Sugarman, the Vikings’ longtime head athletic trainer, spent much of the offseason making sure TCO Performance Center was prepared when players showed up for training camp during the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, the Vikings announced that Sugarman, along with members of his family, tested positive for COVID-19.

Sugarman, whom the Vikings also are calling their infection control officer, found out he was positive over the weekend and is in self-quarantine with the rest of his family.

The Vikings’ entire roster is set to report to training camp on Tuesday after rookies and quarterbacks arrived last Thursday.

“We have followed the team’s protocol for sanitizing the facility and for notifying any personnel who may have been in close contact with Eric,” the Vikings said in their statement. “Those individuals have been tested and are returning under the established guidelines. Eric has not had recent contact with players, and no additional cases within the Vikings front office have been identified at this time. Eric will continue to fulfill his role as the team’s ICO virtually as much as possible, and his athletic training staff and other Vikings personnel will assist where necessary.”

Sugarman released his own statement through the Vikings, saying that he and his family are all doing fine and experiencing only mild symptoms.

“I have an immense amount of pride in the effort I have personally put forth to protect the NFL family, the Minnesota Vikings organization and our community with thoughtfulness and decision-making based on the current science over these last four months,” Sugarman said. “I am humble to be serving in that capacity as it has been some of the most rewarding work of my career.

“But as I sit here in quarantine, it is clear this virus does not discriminate. It should continue to be taken seriously. I encourage people to take the necessary precautions and follow guidelines that have been established nationally and locally. At this time I am taking care of myself and my family and am focused on their health and recovery. I will return to the Vikings and my role after following the proper protocols.”