The NFL began its investigation into Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports to determine whether the quarterback and the team had violated COVID-19 protocols.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation. Rodgers tested positive for COVID on Wednesday, and it was later revealed that he had not been vaccinated.
The controversy took to another level on Friday.
Quarterback MVP – who will miss the Packers game on Sunday in Kansas City due to minimum 10-day isolation – maintained in “The Pat McAfee Show” interview that an NFL doctor told him “It would be impossible for a vaccinated person to catch or spread COVID.
Rodgers did not identify the doctor he claimed gave him such information, which is incorrect. Vaccines significantly reduce the risk of contracting or becoming ill from COVID-19, according to the CDC. However, no vaccine is 100% effective and “breakthrough infections” are possible.
The NFL quickly refuted Rodgers’ claim, telling Pro Football Talk: “No league doctors or joint NFL-NFLPA infectious disease consultants have contacted the player. If they had, they certainly never would have said anything like that.”
Rodgers said on Friday that he opted for a homeopathic treatment which he said had apparently “immune” him to the effects of COVID-19.
After Rodgers showed up at the Packers camp in August and informed team medics about his treatment while requesting an exemption from one of the three vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson), his case was forwarded to the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and look to the infectious disease expert jointly appointed by the NFL and NFLPA, the person told USA TODAY Sports.
The disease expert concluded later in August that without data or peer-reviewed research, the treatment Rodgers underwent was not considered a viable replacement for vaccines.
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Rodgers did not disclose details of his treatment. “The specific protocol, I will keep it between me and my doctors,” he said on Friday.
As several cases across the NFL have shown over the past year that have resulted in disciplinary action against teams and individuals, the league’s investigation will no doubt be based on surveillance video obtained from the National Training Center. Packers. This video is expected to confirm whether protocols – such as unvaccinated players like Rodgers wearing masks and social distancing – were followed.
The Packers, Rodgers, or both, could face penalties for violations.
Contributor: Tom Schad