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Vikings part ways with veteran defensive coach; Justin Jefferson named second team All-Pro

Dom Capers
This is a 2019 photo of Dom Capers of the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL football team. This image reflects the Jacksonville Jaguars active roster as of Tuesday, May 14, 2019 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)

While Mike Zimmer awaits word to see if one veteran assistant will return, he has parted ways with another.

The Vikings announced Friday that Dom Capers, who served as a senior defensive assistant for the Vikings this season, will not have his contract renewed. Mark Uyeyama, who had the title director of competition development, also won’t be back. Those two join special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf in not having their contracts renewed. Zimmer is still waiting to see if offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak be back. Kubiak is considering retirement.

Capers, 70, joined the Vikings last offseason for his 34th season in the NFL. A former head coach of the Panthers and Texans, Capers was the defensive coordinator in Green Bay for nine seasons. He took the 2018 off before joining the Jaguars in 2019.

The Vikings, normally a strong defensive team under Zimmer, finished 27th in total defense this season and 29th in scoring defense.

Uyeyama was named the Vikings’ strength and conditioning coach in June of 2017 and spent two seasons in that job before being promoted to director of competition development.

Meanwhile, Vikings rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson was named second team All-Pro by the Associated Press. The All-Pro teams are voted on by panel of 50 media members nationally. Jefferson is the only rookie to be named first or second team All-Pro this season, and is the first Vikings rookie to earn All-Pro honors since Cordarrelle Patterson was named first team All-Pro as a kick returner in 2013.

Jefferson broke the Super Bowl-era record for receiving yards by a rookie with 1,400 in 2020. He also established Vikings rookie records for receiving yards, receptions (88) and 100-yard games (seven).