Defensive tackle Michael Pierce is back with the Vikings, after opting out of the 2020 season due to the pandemic. Meeting with reporters on Wednesday, Pierce said that the Vikings haven’t decided as a team whether to opt out of offseason workouts in 2021.
Via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Pierce said that it remains undecided regarding whether he, or anyone on the team, will participate in offseason practices, ostensibly due to lingering concerns regarding the pandemic.
Offseason program or not, Pierce is glad to be back. “It was rough to be honest with you,” he said regarding opting out, “but it was necessary.” He said that opting out gave him “an early snapshot” of life after football.
He didn’t like the snapshot of the football team with which he signed last year, especially defensively. “I saw a lot of plays that I could have made personally,” Pierce said, adding that it was difficult to watch the Christmas Day game against the Saints, which saw the defense shredded and Alvin Kamara making it to the end zone six times.
Pierce, who opted out due to a history of asthma, added that he eventually regretted his decision to an extent, given the way the league handled the pandemic.
That continues to be the most unfortunate part of last year’s agreement between the league and the union. The players had a tight, limited window within which to make an irreversible decision. They should have been allowed to let things play out a bit, with the ability to walk away at least through the end of September. Perhaps Pierce would have given it a shot, and perhaps he would have stayed for the full season.
Speaking of shots, he’s gotten both of them. From Pfizer. And, yes, we mention that because everyone who’s reading this should do the same thing, if they haven’t already.