All-star Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is unvaccinated and has tested positive for Covid, according to reports, despite previously seeming to indicate he had gotten the jab.
As a result of the positive test and lack of vaccination, the 2020 league MVP will miss the Packers’ Sunday game against the Kansas City Chiefs, and will sit out for at least 10 days.
Neither the Packers nor the NFL have confirmed the diagnosis, but multiple outlets including CBS Sports, the NFL Network, and ESPN have reported that unnamed sources confirmed the QB had Covid, and that he wasn’t vaccinated.
The Independent has reached out to the team and the league for comment.
The reported positive test comes as a shock, as Mr Rodgers was thought to have already been vaccinated.
In August, he told reporters, “Yeah, I’ve been immunised.”
The NFL has considered Mr Rodgers unvaccinated since the start of the season, and he has worn a mask indoors to comply with league protocols for the unvaccinated, ESPN reported.
However, ESPN also reported that the QB also allegedly lobbied the NFL to be treated the same way as someone who is vaccinated, a request that was ultimately denied. Still, Mr Rodgers has been allowed to attend media events without wearing a mask, while other unvaccinated players have called in on Zoom instead.
It’s the latest set of Covid woes for the Packers, after receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard weren’t able to play last week because of Covid tests. Practice squad QB Kurt Benkert announced on Tuesday he too had Covid, putting him on the reserve list and leaving the Packers with few options ahead of this weekend’s game.
The NFL played the previous season during the pre-vaccination phase of the pandemic, and various teams experienced outbreaks, postponing games. The league hasn’t made vaccinations mandatory, but says many teams have vaccination rates greater than 80 per cent among players, and that teams with outbreaks as a result of unvaccinated people could be forced to forfeit games.
Rodgers has previously been critical of Covid rules, both at the political level and within the league itself.
“I mean they put these rules in place … they’re not even following their own rules,” he said on a radio show in January. “How many people have gotten caught? Don’t travel, don’t leave the state. Oh, here’s so-and-so on a vacation. Oh, here’s so-and-so at a salon. Don’t eat out at a restaurant unless you’re wearing a mask and separate. Oh, here’s a picture of the governor of California violating those rules.
“You can dap up a guy after a game, but you can’t eat at the same lunch table as a teammate,” Mr Rodgers said last fall on SiriusXM’s “The Pat McAfee Show”. “You can go down to practice and hit each other and be in close contact, but you have to have Plexiglas between you and the guy next to you in the locker room. I just think some of those things to me really don’t add up.”
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies