As the 2021 National Football League (NFL) season gets ready to start, teams are asking themselves: Who will be our quarterback? Is our defense good enough? What will happen if certain key players get injured?

This season, however, lots of teams are also asking: What will happen if our players get sick with the coronavirus?

While more than 90 percent of the NFL players have been vaccinated against the virus, recent reports indicate that some players, including such important players as starting quarterbacks, have chosen not to receive the vaccine.

These players say it is their decision whether to receive the shots. They claim they have the freedom not to be vaccinated.

It is true that people are free to make their own decisions. But all decisions have consequences — things that happen because of those decisions.

Doctors and scientists tell us that people who choose not to get the vaccine are much more likely to get sick and spread the virus to other people than people who choose to get vaccinated.

An important part of being on any team is learning to make decisions that may affect the team and not just yourself. The NFL announced this summer that if a team has an outbreak of the coronavirus and cannot play a game the team with the outbreak will forfeit the game.

In other words, players who are choosing not to get vaccinated may cause their team and teammates to lose a game or several games.

Even if the team doesn’t forfeit a game, it may have so many sick players that the team may lose the game. Last season, the Denver Broncos had to put a wide receiver, Kendall Hinton, at quarterback because all their regular quarterbacks couldn’t play because of the virus. Hinton completed only one pass during the game, and the Broncos lost to the New Orleans Saints, 31-3.

These kinds of decisions can happen with kids, too. Let’s say you play on a soccer team that has a 9 a.m. game Saturday. Friends invite you to a Friday night sleepover, where you will probably stay up late having fun.

You are free to go to the party. But your decision may affect more than just you. It may affect your team because you may be too tired to play well.

Good teammates think of the team when they make their decisions. It seems to me that during this long coronavirus pandemic, too many people, even NFL players, have not been thinking about the team.