The NFL’s most popular team will be without its most important player on Sunday.
Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 and is out for Green Bay’s showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported. Rodgers was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and Jordan Love will start in the first round of 2020 in place of Rodgers.
Despite telling reporters in August that he “immunized”, Rodgers has not been vaccinated against COVID-19, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported. Rodgers is required to spend a mandatory 10 days off the team under the league’s COVID-19 protocol, banning him from the Packers’ Week 9 game against the Chiefs. The earliest Rodgers can rejoin the team is November 13, the day before their Week 10 game against the Seahawks.
Rodgers had previously requested and denied an exemption from the NFL-NFL Players Association COVID-19 protocols based on his antibody levels this summer, leaving his status as unvaccinated, NFL Media reported Wednesday.
Rodgers received homeopathic treatment from his personal physician to boost his antibody levels and asked the NFLPA to review his status. The players’ union, the NFL-NFLPA jointly designated the infectious disease consultant and league, and the league agreed that Rodgers’ treatment provided no documented protection against the coronavirus.
Accordingly, Rodgers was ineligible for a waiver and remained subject to a number of restrictions, including daily tests, wearing masks and a high-risk close contact protocol that would force him into five days of isolation based on interacting with a positive individual, even if he tested negative.
If his antibody levels are high enough, Rodgers can be considered fully vaccinated with just one injection. The NFL-NFLPA regular COVID protocols allow an individual to be fully vaccinated through “a quantitative antibody test (taken at the club facility and administered by BioReference Laboratory personnel after August 26, 2021 and before the individual receives a dose of a COVID vaccine) that demonstrates total antibody levels of COVID (IgG, IgA, IgM) against the spike protein of 100 U/ml or more, and a positive antibody test against the COVID IgG nucleocapsid protein, and 14 days have passed since the person had one received dose of a COVID vaccine (Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer or Moderna).”
However, sources told NFL Media that Rodgers has not received any of the COVID-19 vaccines.
After telling reporters that the Packers are “all hands on deck” with Rodgers out, coach Matt LaFleur was asked if the August QB’s comment might have been misleading, to which he replied: “It’s a great question for Aaron, I don’t go to comment”, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
When asked if he would consider Rodgers selfish for choosing not to get the vaccine, LaFleur replied, “I think everyone should make their own personal decision, and that’s just what it is.”