Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady said he contracted Covid-19 in February shortly after the team's Super Bowl 55 parade.
Brady, who has since been vaccinated, confirmed that he was sick over the winter in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times.
Brady said the coming season will be "challenging" against the backdrop of the delta variant of the coronavirus and the continued spread of Covid-19.
"I actually think it's going to play more of a factor this year than last year, just because of the way what we're doing now and what the stadium is going to look like and what the travel is going to look like and the people in the building and the fans," he said.
While his team his 100 percent vaccinated, Brady said he expects some players to contract the virus nonetheless, especially because vaccinated players will have fewer restrictions on their movements than last year.
"It's not like last year, although we're getting tested like last year. It's going to be, I definitely think guys are going to be out at different points and we've just got to deal with it," he said.
Brady led the Buccaneers to become the Super Bowl champions in his first season playing for the team. The season was heavily restricted by the pandemic, as games were played with no or limited audiences, and many games had to be rescheduled after players and staff members tested positive.
Recently, the NFL Players Association and the NFL came to an agreement to increase testing for vaccinated players as they prepare for a new season with the delta variant.
Vaccinated players will be required to be tested at least once every seven days, and they have the option for more testing if they want it, ESPN reported.
Ninety-three percent of players training for the coming season had gotten at least one dose of a vaccine. Unvaccinated players will have to wear masks indoors, but they won't have to wear them outdoors, ESPN reported.
CORRECTION (Sept. 6, 2021, 5:25 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated the name of the pro football players union. It is the NFL Players Association, not NFL Players Associated.