Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Sunday’s road game against the Kansas City Chiefs, according to multiple reports.
NFL Network reported Rodgers will sit out the game against the Chiefs because he is unvaccinated, which means he’s sidelined for 10 days as a result of the positive test.
Rodgers, however, said in August that he was “immunized” when asked about his vaccination status.
Per ESPN, Rodgers petitioned the NFL for his alternate treatment to be considered on par with the league’s approved vaccinations. The NFL, however, ruled against Rodgers’ request and considered him unvaccinated.
ESPN also reported Rodgers follows masking protocols while interacting with players and coaches during the week. The reigning league MVP, however, does not wear a mask during his weekly and postgame news conferences.
That, ostensibly, earned a statement from the NFL.
“The primary responsibility for enforcement of the COVID protocols within club facilities rests with each club,” the statement read. “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.”
Packers coach Matt LaFleur sidestepped Rodgers’ vaccination status on Wednesday.
“I’m not going to get into any of our players or coaches vaccination status,” LaFleur said.
When asked whether Rodgers’ use of the word “immunized” was misleading, LaFleur was quick with a response.
“That’s a great question for Aaron. I’m not going to comment on it,” he said.
Jordan Love, 23, will make his first NFL start in place of Rodgers.
“I said, ‘Hey, it’s a great challenge,” LaFleur said of his message to the team. “Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. I think our guys will rally around Jordan. What a great opportunity for him.”
Green Bay is scheduled to host the Seattle Seahawks in Week 10 (Nov. 14). According to reports, Nov. 13 is the earliest Rodgers would be able to return to the team.
The Packers played without wide receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard last Thursday due to COVID-19. Adams has yet to be cleared to return.
Rodgers overcame their absences and threw two touchdown passes in Green Bay’s 24-21 victory over the previously undefeated Arizona Cardinals. The Packers (7-1) have won seven in a row since being blown out 38-3 by the New Orleans Saints in their season opener.
Rodgers, 37, has thrown for 1,894 yards with 17 touchdowns and three interceptions this season.
Rodgers has spent his entire 17-year career with the Packers. He has passed for 53,139 yards and 429 touchdowns, and he won a Super Bowl ring with the franchise at the end of the 2010 season.
Love has completed 5 of 7 passes for 68 yards in limited work this season. That has been his lone regular-season action since the Packers selected him with the 26th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Despite Love’s limited game experience, LaFleur has confidence in the second-year quarterback.
“I know he’s been working hard every day,” LaFleur said of Love. “Certainly the majority of his reps have taken place on scout team. That’s something that … during practice you take whatever’s on the card, put it into our terms to help with the process. He takes every rep seriously.”
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