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Aaron Rodgers—Who’s Unvaccinated And Has Covid—Reportedly Asked NFL To Allow Alternative Treatment To Count As Vaccine

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at November 3, 2021

Topline

Green Bay Packers quarterback and reigning NFL most valuable player Aaron Rodgers will not play this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs after testing positive for Covid-19, according to multiple reports, with the NFL Network saying that Rodgers was never vaccinated and ESPN reporting that Rodgers petitioned the league prior to the season to allow an alternate treatment to count as a vaccination—which was denied.

Key Facts

Rodgers suggested to reporters during the pre-season that he had been vaccinated, saying he had been “immunized.”

That led to numerous reports stating Rodgers had been vaccinated, which he did not refute.

Rodgers also said he wouldn’t criticize any teammates who chose to remain unvaccinated, calling it a “personal decision” and “an interesting issue,” leading to some questions about what his statements meant.

The NFL does not require its players to be vaccinated, and players are not obligated to publicly disclose their vaccination status.

Rodgers has been following the league’s Covid protocol for unvaccinated players this season when inside the Packers’ facility, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

Chief Critic

Criticism of Rodgers poured in Wednesday after it became apparent that he had deceived the public about his vaccination status. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk noted that Rodgers didn’t wear a mask while on the sidelines during the preseason—even though wearing one is required for unvaccinated players. “It means that he was deliberately and flagrantly violating COVID policies to create the impression that he’s vaccinated,” Florio wrote.

What To Watch For

At 7-1, the Packers are tied for the best record in the NFL, but the loss of Rodgers for this Sunday’s game at the reigning AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs could hurt the team’s long-term prospects for this season. The earliest Rodgers could return would be on November 13—giving him less than a day to prepare if he hopes to play in the team’s following game, which is against the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 14.

Key Background

The NFL is requiring its coaches and front office staffers to be vaccinated, but the players’ union said vaccine mandates for the league’s players was out of the question. Still, the NFL has enacted some strict rules and penalties when it comes to issues caused by unvaccinated players. The league announced prior to the season that games canceled because of a Covid outbreak among unvaccinated players could result in the team with the outbreak forfeiting the game, while unvaccinated players could face fines of around $14,000 for not following Covid guidelines. The NFL has also prohibited unvaccinated players from going to bars, concerts and other sporting events, at the risk of a fine.

Big Number

93%. That’s the percentage of players who were vaccinated before the start of the 2021 season, according to the NFL, meaning Rodgers would be part of only a small minority of players who haven’t been vaccinated.

Contra

Some unvaccinated players have chosen to openly announce their status, including Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley.

Further Reading

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers tests positive for COVID-19, source says (ESPN)

Aaron Rodgers was secretly unvaccinated (ProFootballTalk)

NFL Raises Pressure On Players To Get Vaccinated: Teams May Be Forced To Forfeit Games Due To Covid Outbreaks (Forbes)

Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus

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