NFL Could Punish Aaron Rodgers, Packers for COVID-19 Protocols

Aaron Rodgers will not play in the Green Bay Packers' game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday due to his positive COVID-19 test. It's also possible he could be punished by the NFL for violating COVID-19 protocols. According to John Breech of CBS Sports, Rodgers could be fined or suspended if the NFL determines the Packers quarterback broke the rules. The NFL deems Rodgers as unvaccinated and has reportedly been seen at the team facility without wearing a mask. 

For a player's first offense for violating COVID-19 protocols, it will be a fine of $14,560. The most serious punishment is a player being suspended for up to four games for conduct detrimental to the team. Breech posted the rule in the NFL COVID protocol handbook, which states:  "All players and staff who are not fully vaccinated must wear masks (surgical masks are preferred; gaiters and masks with valves or vents are prohibited) at all times when inside the Club facility."

When Rodgers spoke to reporters about getting vaccinated in August, he said that he was "immunized." That meant that Rodgers "received a homeopathic treatment from his personal doctor to raise his antibody levels" and he was hoping that would be enough for the NFL to deem him vaccinated. The NFL didn't agree with Rodgers' treatment and deemed him unvaccinated. Rodgers' positive COVID-19 test comes after he attended a Halloween party that included more than a dozen Packers players. The NFL could fine Rodgers for that due to him being unvaccinated. A similar situation happened to Darren Waller last year as he was fined $30,000 for going maskless at a charity event that he planned.

"The primary responsibility for enforcement of the Covid protocols within club facilities rests with each club," the NFL said in a statement on Wednesday. "Failure to properly enforce the protocols has resulted in discipline being assessed against individual clubs in the past. The league is aware of the current situation in Green Bay and will be reviewing the matter with the Packers."

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If Rodgers gets punished by the NFL, the Packers will likely also be in trouble. Last year, the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints were fined a total of $1.5 million while losing sixth-round picks. The Saints got the pick back after the team appealed the decision in March.