Packers QB Aaron Rodgers in COVID-19 Protocol, Out Sunday

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GREEN BAY, WIS.—Green Bay Packers backmost Aaron Rodgers is successful the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol, leaving the NFL’s hottest squad without the reigning MVP.

Packers manager Matt LaFleur confirmed Wednesday that Rodgers was successful the protocol, but would not accidental if Rodgers had tested affirmative nor if Rodgers has been vaccinated. LaFleur acknowledged that Rodgers won’t beryllium disposable Sunday erstwhile the Packers (7-1) enactment their seven-game winning streak connected the enactment astatine Kansas City (4-4).

“It was conscionable crazy, man,” Packers antiaircraft tackle Kenny Clark said. “Got to person that next-man-up mentality. That’s the person of our team, truthful yeah, it was conscionable brainsick news.”

NFL officials are readying to reappraisal however the Packers person handled COVID-19 related protocols.

“The superior work for enforcement of the COVID protocols wrong nine facilities rests with each club,” NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said successful a statement. “Failure to decently enforce the protocols has resulted successful subject being assessed against idiosyncratic clubs successful the past. The league is alert of the existent concern successful Green Bay and volition beryllium reviewing with the Packers.”

Before the NFL issued its statement, LaFleur defended the mode the Packers person followed wellness protocols wrong their facility.

“I ticker what these guys do,” LaFleur said. “You know, I tin lone talk to our shot space, but yeah, absolutely. We’ve got cameras everywhere. I deliberation our guys bash an outstanding occupation with it. And it’s conscionable unfortunate. It’s not similar this happening can’t hap to anybody. It’s happened to a batch of radical extracurricular of this building.”

LaFleur didn’t speculate connected however agelong Rodgers mightiness beryllium out.

Rodgers isn’t the lone Packers subordinate to woody with the coronavirus recently. Wide receivers Davante Adams, a 2020 All-Pro, and Allen Lazard missed past week’s triumph astatine Arizona due to the fact that of COVID-19 protocols. Defensive coordinator Joe Barry tested affirmative past week and besides missed the Cardinals game. Barry and Adams could instrumentality to signifier Thursday.

The Packers placed Rodgers and cornerback Isaac Yiadom connected the reserve/COVID-19 database Wednesday.

“It’s going around, and it happens,” moving backmost Aaron Jones said. “I’ve had COVID. Many others successful the locker country person had COVID. It’s conscionable unfortunate.”

Green Bay’s backup backmost is 2020 first-round draught prime Jordan Love, who has thrown 7 passes successful his abbreviated career. Third-stringer Kurt Benkert is connected the signifier squad but was placed connected the COVID-19 reserve database connected Tuesday.

Former Jacksonville Jaguars starter Blake Bortles, who spent clip with the Packers during grooming camp, flew to Green Bay connected Wednesday to articulation the team’s signifier squad. He is expected to get moved up to the 53-man roster aboriginal successful the week and service arsenic Love’s backup against the Chiefs.

Love’s lone regular-season crippled appearances came erstwhile helium played the 4th fourth of a 38-3 season-opening nonaccomplishment to New Orleans, and took 3 kneel-downs astatine the extremity of a 35-17 triumph implicit Detroit. LaFleur said Love has been moving chiefly with the scout squad since the commencement of the season.

LaFleur says helium liked the mode Love responded to the likelihood of starting Sunday’s game.

“We speech astir having that no-flinch mentality and I didn’t spot immoderate flinch successful him,” LaFleur said. “I deliberation he’s excited astir the opportunity. I deliberation he’ll hole the close mode and springiness it everything helium has.”

Love volition effort to pb his squad to triumph successful his archetypal vocation start, thing Dallas’ Cooper Rush and the New York Jets’ Mike White some did past Sunday. Chiefs manager Andy Reid was speedy to constituent that retired Wednesday.

“You conscionable watched this past weekend,” Reid said. “Two quarterbacks came successful that hadn’t had an accidental to play much, if astatine all, and won games. So, our guys are alert of that. You get yourself acceptable to play.”

Vaccinated players who trial affirmative are allowed to instrumentality aft they person 2 antagonistic tests that are taken astatine slightest 24 hours apart. Unvaccinated players who trial affirmative are isolated for astatine slightest 10 days.

Rodgers was asked astatine an Aug. 26 media league whether helium had been vaccinated.

“Yeah, I’ve been immunized,” Rodgers replied. “You know, there’s a batch of speech astir it, astir the league, and a batch of guys who person made statements and not made statements, owners who person made statements. There’s guys connected the squad that haven’t been vaccinated. I deliberation it’s a idiosyncratic decision. I’m not going to justice those guys. There are guys that’ve been vaccinated that person contracted COVID. It’s an absorbing contented that I deliberation we’re going to spot played retired the full season.”

LaFleur would not remark connected Rodgers’ Aug. 26 usage of the “immunized” and if it mightiness beryllium seen arsenic misleading if the backmost was unvaccinated.

“That’s a large question for Aaron,” LaFleur said. “I’m not going to remark connected it.”

Jones, whose begetter died April 6 of complications from COVID-19, declined remark connected Rodgers’ vaccination status. But the 2020 Pro Bowl moving backmost added helium wouldn’t see it selfish if a teammate opted against getting vaccinated.

“I don’t deliberation it’s a selfish decision,” Jones said. “I mean, there’s guys crossed the league who are not vaccinated. And to accidental that they’re not committed to their team, I deliberation that that’s not true. He’s our person … he’s 100% committed to this team, conscionable similar anybody other is successful this locker room.”

Green Bay owns a 3 1/2-game pb implicit the Minnesota Vikings (3-4) successful the NFC North, giving the Packers a bully cushion arsenic they woody with their quarterback’s absence.

By Dave Skretta

The Associated Press


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