Roman Reigns talks about how signing with the Vikings changed his life

WrestleMania 39
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And put him on the road to where he is today

Shortly after the 2007 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings signed an undrafted free agent defensive tackle from Georgia Tech by the name of Joe Anoa’i. His time with the Vikings didn’t last for very long, as he was released by the team shortly after he was signed. He then went to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a bit before playing a season in the Canadian Football League and eventually ending his football career.

This might not sound like anything important, but Joe Anoa’i went on to something significantly different, and the time he spent with the Vikings appears to have played a significant role in ensuring that he could get there.

Most of you now know Joe Anoa’i as Roman Reigns, the current WWE Universal Champion. It’s a title he’s held for over 1,300 days and, with Wrestlemania weekend coming up, we’ve gained a bit more insight as to why his football career was cut short.

The video above comes from an A&E Biography special on Reigns that came out recently, and in the video Reigns tells the story of his brief time in Minnesota.

So, it was the very first day of rookie camp, we started out and went and did our physicals, which included blood work. As I was walking out, there were two trainers there to pretty much intercept me. So that’s where we went into the rabbit hole to find out the diagnosis of CML (Chronic Myeloid Leukemia). . .which is a form of leukemia. . .which is cancer of the blood.

Reigns’ leukemia went into remission about two years after his Vikings’ physical first diagnosed him, but it resurfaced again in 2018. He went back into treatment and the leukemia went back into remission a short time later and has been in remission ever since. Reigns was inactive during much of the COVID-19 pandemic due to health concerns, but has been back long enough to have the lengthy Universal Championship reign that we mentioned earlier on.

There’s no telling how things might have gone for Joe Anoa’i if the Vikings hadn’t signed him. Perhaps his CML would have been found with one of his physicals with another team or perhaps his football career would have taken a different path. It’s impossible to tell for sure, but we do know that his physical with the Vikings found the illness and, in all likelihood, got him onto the road to getting the treatment he needed.

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Title: Roman Reigns talks about how signing with the Vikings changed his life
Author: Christopher Gates

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