NFL player Brett Jones was excited to have the opportunity to play for the Minnesota Vikings in their game against the Cowboys on Nov. 22. “It was really great to get out there and play with my teammates again. I just really took in the moment, and enjoyed it.”
He started his football career in Weyburn, where he played both minor football and for the Weyburn Comp Eagles under football coach Darren Abel. Then Jones had a college career at the University of Regina, played in the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders, and spent time with the New York Giants and the Vikings in the NFL.
Jones noted that it has been a weird year for the NFL, as the rules in place due to COVID-19 mean there are no fans in the stands. “It is an unprecedented year for all of us. But I didn’t lose my faith in my ability to play.”
He had another chance to get on the field during the Vikings’ game against the Panthers on Nov. 29. “That was one of the craziest games that I have been a part of, especially that last minute drive for the win.”
“Everyone was amped up and ready to finish strong, and it was awesome that we achieved what we wanted,” said Jones.
Recently, a documentary called “Uncharted North: I am Brett Jones”, which was produced and directed by Panayioti Yannitsos with the Little Park,described the career path that Jones took to get to the NFL. Ever still humble, Jones admitted that he was a little embarrassed to be the focus of the documentary.
“But it was a cool opportunity to share the culture of sport in Saskatchewan, and the strong volunteer mentality that many of our coaches have. It was a cool chance for Darren Abel, my former coach, to get recognized. There are so many coaches who deserve recognition for their efforts in volunteering their time to coach young athletes. I am so grateful for all the coaches who spent time teaching me.”
“I also think that the documentary can be seen by any young player to inspire them, to know it is possible to work towards an NFL career,” said Jones.
It was a bit of a transition for Jones when he first started playing for the NFL, as it is quite different from the CFL. But after the past few years with the Giants and the Vikings, Jones feels more comfortable on the field. “It was a big jump for me, but I was able to adapt and adjust.”
Jones noted that there are “a lot of good teams in the conference, and a lot of parity with the NFL teams right now, so we (the Vikings) are in a dog fight for the playoffs. Every game and every week is a challenge, where you want to see that win. But if your team does make the playoffs, you have a good chance to keep on winning.”
Usually Jones is able to spend time with his family over the Christmas holidays, but this year with COVID-19 travel restrictions, he knows that won’t be possible. “Hopefully once the regulations are lifted, and I am done a 14-day quarantine, I will have a chance to see my family in person.”
In the past, Jones has given back to the community by sponsoring the Salvation Army Christmas dinner. This event had to be postponed for the year, because of COVID-19 restrictions. At the time of this interview, Jones was still considering different opportunities to give back this year.