Aaron Rodgers Has COVID-19... Let's Unpack What It Means
Aaron Rodgers has tested positive for COVID-19. Lots of people have tested positive, so that's not a big deal. But, the other stuff surrounding this is a huge deal. Here are some things to consider.
Rodgers was asked point blank by reporters in August if he was "vaccinated" and what his feelings were around that. He said, "Yeah, I've been immunized." He went on to say that he respected people who are not because he considers it to be a personal decision. Aaron did a cute play on words when he said "immunized" instead of "vaccinated". Everyone who heard him assumed he had taken the shot and that was the end of it. I don't think he was asked again. Rodgers did take some kind of homeopathic treatment. Behind the scenes, he asked the NFL for permission to consider himself protected against COVID-19. The NFL considered it and denied his request. I looked up the definition of homeopathy. It says - The treatment of minute doses of natural substances that in a healthy person would produce symptoms of disease. That doesn't sound like ivermectin, so I can't imagine what Rodgers and his doctor came up with. In any event, the NFL rejected it which means they consider him an unvaccinated player which means he is supposed to follow unvaccinated player protocols. I read the list of unvaccinated player rules, and I cannot see how he could be considered to have followed them. The rules require a mask to be worn indoors and outdoors if in close proximity to others except at practice, and physical distancing is mandated while in team facilities. Basically, it seems Rodgers is a rebel and apparently decided he will ignore some of the NFL's rules. Regardless of your opinion about the pros and cons of being vaccinated, the NFL will see this as Rodgers ignoring the safety of others.
Is punishment coming? You can virtually bet on that. But, what will the punishment be? We know other teams have run afoul of the rules and suffered fines of around half a million dollars. The Saints and the Raiders lost low round draft picks. However, up until now, no player has been suspended that I am aware of. Rodgers is as high of a profile player as you can get. Maybe the NFL wants to send a message about safety and suspends him. I think they will think long and hard before doing that because I think the NFL Players Union would go ballistic due to the NFL not suspending players previously who were caught without masks. I think they would LIKE to suspend him, but if they do, they have to come up with something Rodgers did that was different and more egregious than other players have done so far. You know Green Bay knew Rodgers was considered to be unvaccinated, so I'm pretty sure they will be fined and might lose a draft pick.
How will Green Bay react to this? They have been walking a tight rope for six months to try to please Rodgers. Will they have his back on this by blaming themselves and not Rodgers and risk a huge fine, etc., or will they throw Rodgers under the bus by telling the NFL that they tried to tell him but he just wouldn't listen in the hopes of making their penalties less severe? Whatever they decide could very well have an impact on whether Rodgers decides to stay with the team after this year.
Finally, let's talk about how what Rodgers has done will impact this season for the Green Bay Packers. If the season ended today, I think the Packers have the tie-breakers in their favor and would be considered the number 1 seed in the NFC playoffs. Despite losing to Tampa Bay in Green Bay last year, having the number 1 seed often gets you a ticket to the Super Bowl. Having to go on the road against teams like the Buccaneers, the Rams, the Cowboys or the Cardinals is not a great recipe for success in the playoffs. Green Bay has learned that over the last 10 years.
The Packers have to be hoping Jordan Love plays well enough for them to beat the Chiefs this weekend. If that happens, and if Rodgers can come back and be healthy enough to beat the Seahawks in the next game, then maybe this episode won't hurt their prospects for a Super Bowl. The more likely scenario is it hurts them plenty. Maybe he saw his play on words as not telling a lie, but the fact that he put the word "Yeah" before saying, "I've been immunized" qualifies as a bald-faced lie in my opinion. As you can see, there is A LOT that has happened and will happen due to Rodgers being the rebel that he is and Green Bay possibly looking the other way to try to keep him long term. It will be a lot of fun to see how all of this plays out. But, one has to think if Rodgers had Jesus in his life, things would be much better for him, both in these circumstances and many others that have happened previously in his life.
May God always be your number 1 draft pick!