Aaron Rodgers has tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss the Green Bay Packers’ game with the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, according to multiple reports. His exact vaccination status remains unclear.
The meeting with the Chiefs would have seen arguably the two most talented quarterbacks in the NFL, Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes, face each other. Instead, the Packers will be led by Jordan Love, the man Green Bay controversially drafted in 2020 as the 37-year-old Rodgers’ long-term successor.
Rodgers’ exact vaccination status is unknown but in August he told reporters he was “immunized”. However, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that does not necessarily mean Rodgers is vaccinated against Covid-19. Rapoport added that Rodgers has been following protocols for unvaccinated players around the Packers facility.
“You know, there’s a lot of conversation around it, around the league, and a lot of guys who have made statements and not made statements, owners who have made statements,” Rodgers said when asked about his vaccination status in August. “There’s guys on the team that haven’t been vaccinated. I think it’s a personal decision. I’m not going to judge those guys. There are guys that’ve been vaccinated that have contracted Covid. It’s an interesting issue that I think we’re going to see played out the entire season.”
The NFL has different rules for when players can return after testing positive for Covid-19, depending on their vaccination status. If Rodgers is, as reported, unvaccinated then he would need to stay away from the team for a minimum of 10 days, meaning the earliest he could return would be on 13 November, one day before Green Bay’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Asymptomatic vaccinated players can return as soon as they provide two negative tests 24 hours apart. Vaccinated players displaying symptoms must provide two negative tests 24 hours apart and become asymptomatic.
The Packers have had several issues with Covid in the past few weeks. On Tuesday, Green Bay practice squad quarterback Kurt Benkert tweeted that he had Covid-19. The Packers were without star Davante Adams for last week’s victory over the Arizona Cardinals after he tested positive for Covid and his fellow wide receiver Allen Lazard also missed the game after he was deemed a close contact of Adams. The team’s defensive coordinator, Joe Barry, has also been absent due to Covid protocols.
Despite those problems, Green Bay are on a seven-game win streak and have the best record in the NFC (7-1) along with the Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams. Rodgers had been enjoying another vintage year and has thrown 17 touchdowns and only three interceptions.