The first game of 2022 is near the end of March. Based on the South African experience, surely the Omricon wave will have run its race by then. Assuming we don't get another variant of concerns (a big assumption i know) the 2022 season should not face too much disruption you'd hope.
However, there will likely be any number of disruptions between now and then.
The AFLW will almost certainly be impacted, particular given most players also have other jobs and so therefore are more at risk of getting Omricon than the men. The lists are smaller too, which will make fielding sides problematic if too many players have to sit out games.
And of course the AFLW is starting with numbers super high and possibly not peaking till a fair way in the AFLW season.
For the AFL, teams are almost certain to face a range of disruption, for example an impact on the training program because of positive cases in the playing and/or coaching teams.
Apart from disruption such as having to isolate groups of players and/or coaches, even with Omricon being less severe, as Kate Roffey pointed out at the Bluey elite athletes do not want to get a respiratory illness. Nor do they want any interruption to their preseason, such is the carefully calibrated program they have to complete.
(On the severity of Omricon, there is an interesting narrative developing. All the talk is about Omricon but Delta still makes up a high percentage of cases and as i understand it also a high percentage of hospitalisations. It is still very important to take measures to reduce transmission, one to try and stem the Omicron tide and get to the end of this wave as quickly as possible and two to prevent the spread of the more virulent and dangerous Delta variant.)
The AFL teams that manage this situation the best will have a definite advantage come the 2022 season. Any team that can get through preseason with minimal interruption to their training program will have an edge over teams that have interruptions.
Good management and luck will play a part, but i reckon a key determining factor will be having a team of young men who are motivated and disciplined enough to keep their eyes on the prize, minimise risks, avoid unnecessary risks and possibly eschew activities they would normally participate in over the preseason (eg nightclubbing, going away with mates, having a drink at the pub, going to parties etc).
I reckon the dees have such a group of players.