- Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has tested positive for COVID-19.
- It was believed that he was vaccinated, so what happened and what is to come?
- Click HERE for more football coverage!
Aaron Rodgers will not play against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. It was announced on Wednesday morning that the 37-year-old has tested positive for COVID-19 and NFL fans reacted accordingly.
According to the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol, vaccinated individuals who test positive and are asymptomatic will be isolated. The positive individual can then return to duty after two negative tests at least 24-hours apart.
Thus, if Rodgers had been vaccinated and tested positive, he would still have a chance to play this weekend. However, he has been ruled out.
The reason for his absence on Sunday, as Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo are reporting, is because Rodgers is not vaccinated.
Per the NFL’s protocol, if an unvaccinated individual tests positive, he or she will be isolated for a period of 10 days. At that point, he or she will be permitted to return to duty if asymptomatic.
By that timeline, depending on when Rodgers’ test first popped positive, he will not be eligible to return until Nov. 13.
People are surprised by this announcement, because it was assumed that Rodgers was vaccinated. He made comments earlier this summer that people took to mean that he received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Here is what he had to say:
“Yeah, I’ve been immunized,” Rodgers said. “There’s guys on the team that haven’t been vaccinated. I think it’s a personal decision, I’m not gonna judge those guys.”
He also said that “a lot of research” went into his decision, and that he “likes to learn about everything that he is doing.”
Watch his eye cut up to the top right as he says it:
This summer, @ByRyanWood asked #Packers QB Aaron Rodgers if he was vaccinated and his stance on it.
Rodgers: “Yeah, I’ve been immunized”
Here’s #12’s full response: pic.twitter.com/kKmXoZC8ca
— Kyle Malzhan (@KyleMalzhan) November 3, 2021
Based on his statements, it was immediately assumed that Rodgers was vaccinated. We now know that he is not.
This leaves a lot of questions unanswered and it means one of three things:
- Reports of him being unvaccinated are wrong. (unlikely)
- The Packers were misinformed.
- The Packers were simply not following guidelines.
Here are the protocols that Rodgers would have had to follow this season:
Here are the @NFLPA’s protocols for unvaccinated players. IF #Packers Aaron Rodgers isn’t vaccinated, he hasn’t followed them this season. pic.twitter.com/FJo2EmVFFY
— Scott Grodsky (@ScottGrodsky) November 3, 2021
Rodgers, who attended a Halloween party over the weekend, violated at least two of the protocol guidelines and should be fined accordingly.
Further, here are the protocols that Rodgers would have to follow inside team facilities:
National Football League
Rapoport is reporting that Rodgers has been following protocols.
My understanding is that Aaron Rodgers has been following protocols for unvaccinated players while inside the building. https://t.co/g5xyjDZ6uL
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 3, 2021
People were quick to point out otherwise.
Aaron Rodgers, inside the building without mask following Packers 38-3 loss to Saints (pretty sure you could do this for any press conference) https://t.co/SYWng9Zf87 pic.twitter.com/MVxx9VQ1gB
— Matty F. Brown (@mattyfbrown) November 3, 2021
Here’s a packers player wearing a mask during team travel and here’s Rodgers during team travel pic.twitter.com/U27mi2K8hb
— Griffin Delaney (@griffindelaney_) November 3, 2021
Additionally, if a player is unvaccinated, he must keep his mask on on the bench or sidelines. Rodgers has not worn a mask on the sideline.
Aaron Rodgers spent his time on the sideline greeting and hugging teammates. Glad to be here to see a great game. pic.twitter.com/utk2FEp2A1
— George King (@George13287) October 29, 2021
With that being said, the NFL said that unvaccinated players can take off their masks during warmup stretches until the end of practice. But once practice is over, they need to mask up again.
It is unclear as to whether that same logic applies to games. If it does, Rodgers not wearing a mask while on the sideline during a game in which he is playing would be fine.
However, that would not be the case for games in which he is not playing. He would need to wear a mask on the sideline and did not.
Here was Rodgers during a preseason game on August 21st:
Obviously, there is a lot more that is left to unfold with this situation and it will be interesting to see what exactly happened and how. Perhaps more importantly, it will be interesting to see what comes of this news.
Will Rodgers be fined? Could he be suspended? Was he lying on purpose? Who knew what when?