The Minnesota Vikings have five players on the COVID list, with one being hospitalized.

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The Minnesota Vikings have five players on the COVID list, with one being hospitalized.

EAGAN, Minn. (AP) —

— The Minnesota Vikings have been operating under the NFL’s strict virus protocols this week, with five players remaining on the COVID-19 reserve list as of Wednesday and one player having to be hospitalized for breathing problems.

Coach Mike Zimmer declined to name the player, who he said was taken to the ER with pneumonia-like symptoms on Tuesday before his condition improved.

“He’s back to normal now,” Zimmer said on Wednesday, “but it was terrifying.”

Backup guard Dakota Dozier was the player who had to be hospitalized, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the person was not authorized to speak publicly about it.

Dozier has been vaccinated against COVID-19.

“This is serious business,” Zimmer said.

“Around 29 guys, including myself, are being tested due to close contact.”

Just keep doing what we’re doing.”

The COVID-19 reserve list also included safety Harrison Smith, center Garrett Bradbury, backup linebacker Ryan Connelly, and practice squad offensive tackle Timmy Parris.

Smith, Bradbury, and Dozier were forced to sit out the Vikings’ 34-31 overtime loss to Baltimore.

Smith, who claimed he had not been vaccinated this summer, has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Unvaccinated players who test positive in the NFL must be isolated for at least ten days.

On the injury front, defensive tackle Michael Pierce did not practice Wednesday, which was just a walk-through for the Vikings, after missing four straight games with an elbow injury.

Patrick Peterson, who has been on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, could play against Green Bay next week.

Peterson is expected to be cleared to play against the Packers, according to Zimmer.

Zimmer added, “But we said that about Michael Pierce and… other guys.”

“You just have to wait and see where we are, until we see him run full speed and cover guys,” says the narrator.

This article was written by Dave Campbell for The Associated Press.

More NFL coverage from the Associated Press can be found at https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL.

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