Did the NFL know that unvaccinated Aaron Rodgers was breaking COVID-19 protocols?

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The NFL announced Wednesday that it would look into the Packers ‘application of the league’s COVID-19 protocols to unvaccinated players following Aaron Rodgers’ positive disease test.

The championship, in a statement obtained by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, said that the burden of enforcing the protocols imposed by the league fell on the teams. He also added that failure to enforce these protocols has resulted in discipline against other clubs in the past.

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“The primary responsibility for enforcing COVID protocols within club structures rests with each club,” the NFL said. “Failure to apply the protocols correctly in the past has resulted in the discipline being assessed against individual clubs. The league is aware of the current situation in Green Bay and will look into the matter with the Packers.”

Rodgers said in late August that he had been “vaccinated” when asked if he had been vaccinated. His sentence at the time seemed to suggest that he was vaccinated against COVID-19, but his positive test and subsequent 10-day isolation period, revealed on Wednesday, indicates that this was not the case. He will be out of action until at least November 13, the day before the Packers welcome the visiting Seahawks.

It’s also worth noting that the league appeared to know about Rodgers’ unvaccinated status, considering it requested – and was denied – an exemption from the league’s COVID-19 protocols for unvaccinated players.

According to a report from NFL.com, reportedly received homeopathic treatment from her personal physician to raise her antibody levels, basing her request for exemption on this. The NFLPA, the league, and an infectious disease consultant agreed that the treatment did not provide documentable protection from the disease and still considered it unvaccinated.

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USA Today provided a list of warrants regarding unvaccinated players, at least one of which Rodgers appears to have hacked from traveling with the Packers on the team card. From USA Today:

  • Unvaccinated players cannot travel on the team card, even with a religious or medical exemption, and must travel separately. They must also pass a COVID-19 test to rejoin the traveling group and must perform the daily tests later on on road trips. They cannot eat in the canteen. All players, regardless of vaccination status, wear a face mask during air travel and on buses.

A report from Madison.com indicates that Rodgers followed NFL COVID protocols for unvaccinated players while in the team facility, including wearing a mask around coaches and teammates. But he was also seen speaking to the media in person without a mask.

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The Titans, marauders, Saints and patriots all suffered fines for failing to enforce the protocols in 2020. Las Vegas also nearly lost a sixth round pick as a result of the NFL discipline, but kept it on appeal.

The league must now determine the extent to which Rodgers violated protocols due to his unvaccinated status, whether the Packers were aware of the situation, and how much to fine both sides accordingly.

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