The Vikings joined a growing list of NFL teams with players who have decided not to take part in offseason workouts. Vikings players — like the 19 teams before them — issued a statement through the NFL Players Association on Monday. “We have come together as a team and many of us have decided to exercise our right to not attend in-person, voluntary workouts,” the statement read.
The NFL allowed teams to begin their offseason programs on Monday, but the Vikings would not get on the field for Organized Team Activities until next month.
Right now the plan is for many Vikings players to only take part virtually. The main reason given in the statement is the ongoing threat of COVID-19 and the dramatic drop in injuries the league saw in 2020 after having no offseason workouts.
A statement from the Minnesota Vikings players: pic.twitter.com/yTZVc48BNt
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) April 19, 2021
The NFL conducted all of its offseason meetings virtually last year because of the pandemic. Teams were not allowed in their facilities and there was no on-the-field work allowed.
Missing a set number of in-person sessions could mean a loss of bonuses for some players, although only the three-day minicamp is mandatory. The Star Tribune reported the Vikings have agreed to let players take part in Phase 1 of the NFL offseason program virtually and still receive credit toward their bonuses. But the Vikings likely would require players to show up for Phases 2 and 3 of the offseason program at TCO Performance Center in Eagan.
The Vikings almost certainly would like to get some of their younger and newer players on the field this spring and summer to familiarize themselves with the team’s schemes.