Aaron Rodgers is slated to miss the Green Bay Packers’ game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday after testing positive for COVID-19. A quick designation was made to determine that he was out for the contest due to his unvaccinated status, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garofolo.
But wait, didn’t Rodgers say he was vaccinated?
Back in August, Rodgers told reporters that he was “immunized.” He went on to say that there were other Packers players who were not vaccinated and that he was not going to judge them.
Those claims led people to believe that he was vaccinated, and at no point did he refute them.
Now, four days ahead of Green Bay’s game in Kansas City, Rodgers is already ruled out.
Vaccinated players are allowed to return to a team following a positive COVID-19 test once they have two negative test results more than 24 hours apart, according to the NFL’s protocols. They also must be asymptomatic.
Unvaccinated players, on the other hand, require a 10-day isolation period and must be asymptomatic before they can return. This policy was also in place during the 2020 NFL season.
If Rodgers were vaccinated, he could conceivably produce two negative test results over the coming days and still play on Sunday. Instead, the 10-day isolation period keeps him out for the game. The earliest he can return is Nov. 13, one day before the Packers welcome the Seattle Seahawks to Lambeau Field.
Rodgers petitioned the NFL to have an alternate, homeopathic treatment -- one that he received from his personal doctor -- that would be considered equal as someone who received an approved vaccine in the eyes of the league, according to NFL Network. The league ultimately decided that he would not get the same designation as vaccinated players and he was considered unvaccinated.
The QB has followed masking and other protocols while at the Packers’ facility, according to ESPN. However, he has not worn a mask in the team’s media auditorium, nor on the sidelines during games. Other unvaccinated Packers players have done interviews and press conferences via Zoom.
The NFL released a statement saying it's aware of the Rodgers situation and "will be reviewing the matter with the Packers."
"The primary responsibility for enforcement of COVID protocols within club facilities rests with each club," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement. "Failure to properly enforce the protocols has resulted in discipline being assessed against individual clubs in the past. The league is aware of the current situation in Green Bay and will be reviewing the matter with the Packers."
Second-year quarterback Jordan Love will make his first career start on Sunday against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Practice squad quarterback Kurt Benkert announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week. The team is bringing in Blake Bortles with the expectation that he will be eligible to make the roster for Sunday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Green Bay is riding a seven-game winning streak following a season-opening defeat against the New Orleans Saints.