Today is June 18th, and how many people do you know (including yourself maybe) that are in football mode all year round? The split-second the Super Bowl is over, the losers make a statement they will be back even stronger, and the winners get ready for a massive hometown parade. Fantasy football players go dormant for an agonizing amount of time, and the National Football League immediately gets together with all the head-honchos, team owners, and such and brainstorm on how to prepare for next season, financially and a fairly new element - how to deal with COVID-19.

We all enjoyed a full season of cardboard cut-outs of people in the stands, piped-in sound effects of fans during televised games, BUT still, incredibly the NFL went forward. Now that baseball has opened up most stadiums and some are 100% active, will we see that in a new football season? More likely yes, but first according to ESPN The NFL released its new COVID-19 protocols for the 2021 season on Wednesday. Vaccinated players will only have to get tested once every 14 days, whereas unvaccinated players will be severely restricted within and outside the team's facility and face five-figure fines for violating protocols. 

Espn says that yesterday Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmers said of the players who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine will "have a hard time during the season"    given the additional protocols they will have to follow. Zimmer went on to point out several other situations that they will face - such as social distancing, mask-wearing, and issues with when the team is traveling.

Mike brought up a very good point, talking about the team camaraderie aspect. Espn reported that Zimmer relayed this "It's not only the safety part of being vaccinated, but as far as being a part of a football team," 

Only time will tell if the Vikings players that have NOT been vaccinated will get their shot(s).