Packers’ Aaron Rodgers could face fines but no suspension if COVID violations are found

The NFL has begun interviewing Packers staff and is expected to collect video and other evidence as it assesses the team’s compliance with COVID protocols, in light of the public disclosure that reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers has not been vaccinated. And Rodgers and the club can be fined – but not suspended – if violations are found.

The league and team know the vaccination status of all players, including Rodgers, who will miss Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs after testing positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. But Rodgers’ positive test brought his status into the public eye, prompting the NFL to launch its review on Thursday.

Under the jointly negotiated NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocols — which Rodgers performed at a Friday performance The Pat McAfee ShowSaying “Some Rules Aren’t Based On Science At All” — Rodgers risks potential fines from the club or the league for showing up without a mask at press conferences and attending a Halloween party with many teammates. And sources say the NFL is investigating both.

The NFL said in a statement on Wednesday: “The primary responsibility for enforcing the COVID protocols within club facilities rests with each club. Failure to properly enforce the protocols has resulted in discipline being judged against individual clubs in the past. The league is aware of the current situation in Green Bay and will look into the matter with the Packers.”

Unvaccinated, Rodgers will be in isolation for 10 days and will not be eligible to rejoin the team until Saturday, one day before the Packers’ next game against the Seahawks.

As is standard protocol, the NFL also has a lab that does genomic sequencing to help determine where Rodgers contracted the virus. The practice squad quarterback Kurt Benkert also tested positive last week, and others — including star receiver Davante Adams and defensive coordinator Joe Barry — recently returned after their own positive tests.

Under NFL-NFLPA protocols, Rodgers’ positive test means he is now 90 days exempt from daily COVID testing — until the week before the Super Bowl. He continues to undergo daily screening for symptoms and weekly tests.

In his McAfee At the latest, Rodgers said he had followed every protocol “to a T” except the mandatory masking at press conferences, which he says makes no sense because (like all unvaccinated players) he is tested daily for COVID and naturally keeps his distance from the fully masked media core. The NFL, of course, had seen the press conferences since training camp and knew that Rodgers was not wearing a mask.

The Halloween party could be more problematic. Dressed up as movie character John Wick, Rodgers appeared maskless in social media posts in videos and photos with teammates, including tight-end Marcedes Lewis and Randall Cobb. Under NFL-NFLPA protocols, unvaccinated players are barred from a variety of activities, including gathering outside the club facility in groups of more than three and going to an indoor nightclub or bar. The standard fine is $14,650 for first-time violators, with repeated offenses subjecting players to more discipline, including for harmful conduct with a maximum fine of one week’s salary and/or an unpaid suspension for up to four weeks.

Another question the competition will ask: Did Rodgers participate in any commercial or promotional shoots? Then different rules apply to unvaccinated players. Did he follow it?

Rodgers had previously requested and denied an exemption from the NFL-NFL Players Association COVID-19 protocols based on his antibody levels this summer, leaving his status as unvaccinated, NFL Media reported Wednesday.

Rodgers received homeopathic treatment from his personal physician to boost his antibody levels and asked the NFLPA to review his status. The players’ union, the NFL-NFLPA jointly designated the infectious disease consultant and the league and agreed that Rodgers’ treatment offered no documented protection against the coronavirus.

Accordingly, Rodgers was ineligible for an exemption and remained subject to a number of restrictions, including daily tests, wearing masks and a high-risk close contact protocol that would force him into five days of isolation based on interacting with a positive individual, even if he tested negative.

In the McAfee In an interview, Rodgers said he is allergic to an ingredient in mRNA vaccines, which prevented him from getting the Moderna and Pfizer injections. He then went on to cite a temporary hiatus in April from using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for clotting problems as the reason for his dismissal from that treatment. (According to the CDC, low platelet blood clot problems occur at a rate of about 7 per 1 million vaccinated women between the ages of 18 and 49. For women 50 and older and men of all ages, it’s even rarer.)

The uproar over Rodgers’ status was sparked in large part by Rodgers responding in August to a question about whether he had been vaccinated by saying he had been “immunized”.

“I really felt like there was a time and a place to share information at that point,” Rodgers said. “It was such a witch hunt. They wanted everyone who didn’t immediately say: ‘Oh I have the Pfizer, I have the Moderna’, whatever. I wanted it to go away. Everyone in the squad knew I wasn’t vaccinated, everyone in the organization knew I wasn’t vaccinated. I didn’t hide it from anyone. I tried to minimize and soften this conversation that would go on and on.”

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