Aaron Rodgers tests positive for COVID-19
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 and will not play against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
Rodgers has been deemed unvaccinated by the NFL since the start of the season, according to sources verified to ESPN and initially reported by NFL Network.
Rodgers and cornerback Isaac Yiadom were put on the league’s reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday, and the NFL said it will investigate how the Packers handled the league’s COVID-19 rules.
If Rodgers tests positive and is unvaccinated, he must quarantine for at least 10 days and cannot return until Nov. 13 at the earliest, assuming he stays asymptomatic.
Rodgers, 37, had an alternative therapy before to the start of training camp, and he then petitioned the NFL for that treatment to enable him to be treated the same as someone who received one of the allowed immunizations. After a protracted back-and-forth, the league, the players union, and an infectious disease specialist certified by both sides heard Rodgers’ exemption request and determined that he would not get the same treatment and would be deemed unvaccinated.
According to sources, Rodgers adheres to masking standards while engaging with players and coaches within the team’s headquarters at Lambeau Field. Rodgers, on the other hand, does not wear a mask in the media auditorium for his weekly and postgame press conferences. Other unvaccinated Packers players have been placed on Zoom rather of attending in-person media meetings.
The NFL announced on Wednesday that they were “informed of the present issue in Green Bay” and will be discussing it with the Packers.
“The main duty for enforcing COVID regulations inside club facilities lies with each club,” stated NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy in a statement. “In the past, failure to adequately follow the procedures led in sanctions being levied against individual clubs.”
When queried about his vaccination status, Rodgers, the reigning NFL MVP, said in August that he was “immunised.”
“You know, there’s a lot of debate going on around the league about it, and a lot of individuals who have made comments and not made statements, owners who have made statements,” Rodgers said at the time. “There are a few men on the squad who haven’t been vaccinated.” I believe it is a personal choice. I’m not going to pass judgement on those folks. There have been cases of men who have been immunised contracting COVID. It’s an intriguing subject that I believe will be played out over the season.”
“I suppose I prefer to learn about anything that I’m doing,” he later remarked, “and there was a lot of research that even went into that.” But, as I previously said, there have been individuals who have tested positive, and I believe it is just vaccinated people who are affected. It will be fascinating to watch how things play out in the future. Obviously, there may be some concerns if vaccinated individuals only tested every few of weeks while non-vaccinated people tested every day.”
On Wednesday, Packers coach Matt LaFleur refused to comment on the vaccination status of any of his players or coaches. He was questioned whether Rodgers’ use of the phrase “immunised” was deceptive.
“That’s a terrific question for Aaron,” remarked LaFleur. “I’m not going to say anything about it.”
LaFleur said he didn’t know whether Rodgers was experiencing any symptoms and just spoke with him briefly on Wednesday.
In Rodgers’ absence, Jordan Love is expected to earn his first career start against Kansas City.
Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs, wished Rodgers a speedy recovery.
“It’s obviously frustrating,” Mahomes said of not playing Rodgers on Sunday. “I’ve been following his game for a long time. I believe I have a similar playing style. You’re constantly looking to compete with the best. Hopefully, he’s not in too much pain. I’m certain he’ll come out of it stronger than before.”
Adam Schefter, veteran quarterback Blake Bortles is travelling to Green Bay on Wednesday with the intention of being signed to the practise squad and qualifying for the 53-man roster on Sunday.
Bortles was on the Packers’ roster until Rodgers reported to training camp this summer.
The Packers (7-1) are on a seven-game winning run and are tied for the top record in the NFC with the Rams and Cardinals.
Rodgers is the Packers’ second star to test positive in less than a week. Davante Adams was absent last week due to a failed drug test and did not play in the team’s triumph against the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday. LaFleur believes Adams will be able to return by Thursday.
Last week’s game was also missed by receiver Allen Lazard, who was ruled to have had a close contact with Adams. Kurt Benkert, a practise squad quarterback, tweeted on Tuesday that he had COVID-19 and was subsequently put on the reserve list. Because to COVID-19 rules, the squad was still without defensive coordinator Joe Barry on Monday.
Despite Rodgers’ positive test, LaFleur said that the Packers are not presently involved in the league’s stringent procedures, despite adhering to many of the masking and distancing restrictions.
LaFleur also said that he believes all processes were followed by players and staff during the season.
“I keep an eye on what these men do,” LaFleur added. “I can just speak for our football area, but certainly.” We have cameras everywhere. I believe our people do an excellent job with it. And it’s just unfortunate. It’s not as if this couldn’t happen to anybody. Outside of this building, it’s happened to a lot of individuals.”
Running back Aaron Jones, whose father died on April 6 as a result of COVID-19 complications, said he did not doubt his teammates’ vaccination selections, nor did he question Rodgers’ leadership.
“I don’t believe [not being vaccinated] is a selfish choice,” Jones added. “I mean, there are players all across the league that haven’t been vaccinated.” And I don’t believe it’s accurate to suggest they’re not devoted to their team. As you said, he is our leader. He’s 100% devoted to this club, just like everyone else in this locker room.”
During the summer, Love received all of the No. 1 quarterback repetitions while Rodgers was absent from all team workouts.
“Well, we’ll find out, won’t we?” When asked whether Love was ready to begin, LaFleur said, “Yes.” “I know he’s been working hard every day, and I believe [quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator] Luke Getsy does an excellent job of preparing him.” Certainly, the bulk of his repetitions have come on the scout team, but when we’re doing those scout teams in practise, you try to take whatever’s on the card or whatever play that they’re running and put it into our terms to assist the growth process. As a result, I know he takes each rep extremely seriously.”
Caesars Sportsbook’s line for Sunday’s game has shifted dramatically. The Chiefs entered as a two-and-a-half-point favourite, but that has plummeted to a pick’em as of Wednesday morning. However, with the announcement of Rodgers’ positive test, the Chiefs are now 8-point favourites with 48 points scored, down from 55 points as of Sunday.
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