AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

Report: Packers' Aaron Rodgers to Start vs. Seahawks After Recovering from COVID-19

Scott Polacek

Aaron Rodgers is back.

After sitting out the Green Bay Packers' Week 9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs following a positive COVID-19 test, the quarterback will return for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks, per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.

Rodgers' status was in doubt since he was required to isolate for 10 days because he is unvaccinated, and he was only eligible to return Saturday. That meant he missed the entire week of practice leading up to the contest.

He also said there was a "small possibility" he wouldn't play during an interview on Tuesday's episode of The Pat McAfee Show.

Green Bay looked largely lost offensively without Rodgers during the 13-7 loss to the Chiefs, and quarterback Jordan Love struggled in his place, completing 19 of 34 passes for 190 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

That wasn't the only fallout from the Rodgers situation, as ESPN's Rob Demovsky reported the NFL fined the team $300,000 for violating the league's health and safety protocols. Rodgers and Allen Lazard were also each fined $14,650.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo noted the quarterback and wide receiver were fined for attending a maskless Halloween party. Rodgers also broke NFL rules by conducting press conferences without a mask as an unvaccinated player.

"We respect the League's findings and we recognize the importance of adherence to the COVID protocols to keep our team and organization safe and healthy," the Packers said in a statement. "We will continue to educate the team regarding the importance of the protocols and remain committed to operating within the protocols."

Rodgers' status as an unvaccinated player became a much bigger story when he appeared on McAfee's show on Friday, Nov. 5, and discussed the politicization of vaccines, the "woke mob" and the criticism he received for initially saying he was "immunized" when asked about his status in August (h/t Jacob Lev of CNN).

The nine-time Pro Bowler also compared himself to Martin Luther King Jr., said he went to podcast host Joe Rogan for medical advice and suggested he would have better immunity from getting COVID than those who received the vaccine

Despite the quarterback's claims, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced vaccines offered approximately five times more protection than antibodies from previous COVID-19 infections.

Ashley Boucher and Steve Helling of People reported Rodgers was "upset" and "feels like he just shared his point of view, and now he's being crucified for it" after he was criticized for the interview.

Yet he appeared on McAfee's show (h/t Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Post-Gazette) again Tuesday during a follow-up and said, "I acknowledge I am a role model to a lot of people. I made some comments that people might have felt were misleading. To anybody who felt misled by those comments, I take full responsibility." 

While he said he stood by his decision to not receive a vaccine, which he previously stated was partially due to him being allergic to an ingredient in the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, he added, "I'm an athlete. I'm not an activist. So I'm going to get back to what I do best, which is playing ball."

That is exactly what he will do Sunday against the Seahawks as the Packers look to bounce back from a poor offensive showing against the Chiefs. While it was Love's first career start, it also wasn't unreasonable to expect more success given the presence of Davante Adams and Aaron Jones on the offense.

Kansas City's defense has also been one of the worst units in the league for extended stretches and allowed 27 or more points in six of its first eight games.

Still, the quarterback the Packers deemed worthy of a first-round pick in 2020 who had more than a full season to sit behind the three-time MVP and learn the craft was unable to establish much of a rhythm during the loss.

It underscored Rodgers' importance, and he will be back for the Packers as they look to pick up a win in the race for a first-round bye in the NFC.

   

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