Minnesota Vikings news: Team will work remotely despite NFL openings

Minnesota Vikings work out at the Winter Park training facility (Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)
Minnesota Vikings work out at the Winter Park training facility (Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Vikings are one of a number of NFL teams who could resume in-house activities in light of COVID-19, yet they’re staying remote for now.

It doesn’t look like the Minnesota Vikings will be returning to their offseason practices at TCO Performance Center anytime soon.

Last week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced teams could resume their in-person offseason activities as early as Tuesday, May 19 provided they met both local and state mandates in light of COVID-19 social distancing and shelter-in-place orders.

NFL facilities have been closed since late March.

While Minnesota has met the requirements to resume such activities, the team won’t be doing so in the immediate future just yet.

This, from Mark Craig of the Star Tribune:

"The Vikings met the NFL’s deadline for a plan to reopen TCO Performance Center but will continue working remotely even as the league begins to allow front office personnel to return to team facilities on Tuesday. …The Vikings have set no timetable for when front office personnel will return to TCO Performance Center."

Craig also shared a memo from Jeff Anderson, the Vikings vice president of strategic and corporate communications:

"At this time, front office staff will continue to work remotely while we further evaluate when to begin reintroducing employees to the facility in the near future. As we have throughout this situation, we will follow any future guidelines set by Governor Walz and state and local public health officials and adhere to the policies directed by the NFL."

The closures around the league have already cut into many teams’ rookie minicamps and will hinder organized team activities (OTAs), too, which typically start towards the end of May and stretch into early June.

Some teams have conducted virtual offseason workout programs, which has its merits. But the actual on-field collaborative work is something all teams haven’t been able to do.

It’s anyone’s guess how each squad will be affected by the setbacks.

In the Minnesota Vikings’ case, it could be a bit more detrimental than a number of other teams out there. Minnesota brought aboard 15 new players in the 2020 NFL Draft, and rookies often take a bit more time to acclimate to the rigors of life at the pro level. Those initial weeks of workouts and adjustments can be crucial to a first-year player’s development. Additionally, some units typically take longer to jell than others, especially offensive lines and secondaries.

The Vikings have experienced considerable turnover within both units this offseason, particularly at cornerback, losing defensive backs Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander this offseason.

Granted, these obstacles aren’t unique to Minnesota and players’ health and safety should be paramount over the desire to return to normal day-to-day activities.

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And judging by the press release, the Vikings are monitoring the situation closely and weighing the risks versus the reward of returning sooner than later.