CHICAGO (CBS/CBS Sports) — Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will miss his team’s Sunday matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, after testing positive for COVID-19.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur confirmed backup Jordan Love will get the start in Kansas City on Sunday.READ MORE: Chicago Police Officer Shot, Wounded In Calumet Heights
“It’s the next-man-up mentality, and that’s how we’ve operated for everybody. I think our guys will rally around Jordan,” LaFleur said.
Practice squad quarterback Kurt Benkert also has been placed on the Packers’ reserve/COVID-19 list with a positive test, meaning the team will need to sign another quarterback to ensure they have a backup on Sunday.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Rodgers is not vaccinated, meaning he must be quarantined for at least 10 days, which raises the possibility he also could miss their Nov. 14 game against the Seahawks.
He tested positive on either Monday or Tuesday, which would see his quarantine expire on either the Friday (Nov. 13) or Saturday (Nov. 14) before the Seahawks taking the field at Lambeau, and he’s unable to return to the building until it does.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Trial: Abel Osundairo, One Of Two Brothers Who Said He Was Paid To Help Stage Attack, Says Smollett 'Wanted Me To Fake Beat Him Up'
Rodgers had previously suggested he was vaccinated, saying in August he’d been “immunized,” which creates its own set of questions on if he’s truly vaccinated or if he’s speaking to simply having built up natural antibodies from possibly contracting the virus on a previous occasion.
There may be some light now shed on the situation, but it isn’t in Rodgers’ favor. The 37-year-old reportedly lobbied the league’s front office for approval of an alternative treatment, as opposed to getting the vaccine, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN, but was denied. The NFL has labeled him unvaccinated as a result.
That said, this begs the question on which side of the protocol Rodgers has been adhering to up to this point, seeing as they’re wildly different. Any discrepancy would likely lead to a swift and potentially harsh punishment from commissioner Roger Goodell, who has shown the NFL is not afraid to drop the hammer on anyone or any team found in violation of COVID-19 protocol. Should it turn out Rodgers is vaccinated and his wording was simply odd, however, he can return to the team once he’s symptom-free and produces two negative tests within a 24-hour period.
Time will reveal if he is or is not, with league protocol being the tell, but the Packers will now lean on Love when they step into Arrowhead Stadium.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Partly Cloudy And Breezy Overnight
And if Rodgers has not received the vaccine, but instead attempted to carry himself as vaccinated due to an alternative treatment denied relevancy by the NFL, they might be leaning on their former first-round pick for a bit longer than that — giving Love a very real chance at trying to show the Packers he’s potentially ready for the keys to the castle in 2022. And the organization itself could be subject to substantial penalty for any violation(s) the NFL believes they readily allowed by Rodgers.