Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers watches from the sidelines during the second half of the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on October 28, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Packers defeated the Cardinals 24-21.
Christian Petersen | Getty Images
Green Bay Packers superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers will miss the team’s next game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, the Packers said after news reports Wednesday that he had tested positive for Covid.
Head coach Matt LaFleur said only that Rodgers is in the NFL’s Covid-19 protocol program.
“He won’t be available this week,” LaFleur said, without revealing the result of any test of the QB.
Rodgers, 37, said this summer he was “immunized” against Covid, which lead to some news stories reporting that he was vaccinated against the virus.
“There’s guys on the team that haven’t been vaccinated. I think it’s a personal decision, I’m not gonna judge those guys,” Rodgers said at the time.
LaFleur, when asked if Rodgers had actually received a coronavirus vaccine, said, “I’m not going to get into any of our players or coaches vaccination status.”
The coach said he was unaware if Rodgers has any symptoms.
Asked if Rodgers’ claim of being immunized against Covid could be seen as misleading to the public, LaFleur said, “It’s a great question for Aaron, I’m not going to comment on it.”
Sources told NFL Media that Rodgers has not received one of the COVID-19 vaccines.
That immediately raised questions about whether Rodgers had been violating NFL Covid protocol rules, which place numerous restrictions on unvaccinated players. For example, players who are not vaccinated are not allowed to participate in in-person at meetings at team facilities and are barred from traveling on team charter flights.
Rodgers also has been seen without a mask inside Packers headquarters. Unvaccinated players are required to wear masks in such settings in most cases.
The NFL later Wednesday issued a statement saying it was “aware of the current situation in Green Bay and will be reviewing the matter with the Packers.”
“The primary responsibility for enforcement of the Covid protocols within club facilities rests with each club,” the NFL said, according to the NFL Network. “Failure to properly enforce the protocols has resulted in discipline being assessed against individual clubs in the past.”
NFL Media reported that Rodgers previously sought and was denied an exemption from league Covid protocols sought “based on his antibody levels this summer, which left his status as unvaccinated.”
“Rodgers received homeopathic treatment from his personal doctor to raise his antibody levels and asked the NFL to review his status,” NFL.com reported.
“The league pointed Rodgers to the … protocols, which do not account for such an exemption for players. So, Rodgers remained subject to a variety of restrictions, including daily testing, mask-wearing and high-risk close contact protocol that would force him to isolate for five days based on interaction with a positive individual, even if he tested negative.”
The Packers have a 7-1 record, tied for best in the league, going into Sunday’s game with the Chiefs.
Practice squad quarterback Kurt Benkert earlier tested positive for the coronavirus, leaving the team with just one QB, Jordan Love on their active roster.
Love will start against the Chiefs, LaFleur said.
Rodgers in February won the Associated Press’s Most Valuable Player award for the third time in his career.
Rodgers at the earliest will be allowed to return to the Packers on Nov. 13, a day before their game against the Seattle Seahawks.