The Minnesota Vikings are expected to report to training camp by the end of the month. While we hope the NFL season is untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic, it will likely be impacted.
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the NFL and NFLPA are discussing options for players to opt-out of the 2020 season due to the pandemic. It hasn’t come to fruition yet, but it is likely. We have already seen other leagues, such as the NBA and MLB, already finalize their own plans.
With the NFL being the leader of the major professional sports in the country, they will no doubt follow suit. They also get the chance to take note of how it works for the other leagues so they can perfect it.
“My understanding is both the union and the league intend to have an opt-out for players who have either a pre-existing condition, family (members) with pre-existing conditions, just general concerns over COVID-19, would not want to play this season. General managers were told on a call earlier this week there would be a specific date by which players would need to opt-out. That date is still to be determined.”Tom Pelissero, NFL Network
NOT FINALIZED YET
The opt-out date has yet to be finalized but expect it to be soon as camps begin in mere weeks. We should also expect players to take advantage of it. We have already seen stars in both the NBA and MLB take the season off. Even some NFL players, such as former Viking Stefon Diggs, have voiced their concerns.
But there’s so many unanswered questions with this upcoming season. I’d be lying if I said I was comfortable starting back up..— DIGGS (@stefondiggs) July 7, 2020
One area of contention is how this will impact contracts. Pelissero believes there will be some tolling of contracts for those who opt-out. But with the NFL and NFLPA beginning to fight, don’t expect it to be an easy battle to decide.
An even more interesting question is how it will impact the Vikings. With Zimmer and Spielman on the proverbial hot seat, it was going to be a tumultuous year with or without COVID. Throw in some key players deciding to sit out…or even Dalvin Cook viewing this as a way around his holdout…and it could be disastrous for the purple and gold.
Whatever happens, just give me football. Especially with college football beginning to look grim in 2020. I do not want to see what occurs to the American public if they are deprived of their favorite sport.
Jack Kewitsch | Minnesota Sports Fan