When Aaron Rodgers first revealed he was growing out his hair for a Halloween costume, everyone was intrigued. He claimed he would base it on a movie that was close to his heart. My first thought was The Big Lebowski.
Boy, was I wrong. And glad I was. Rodgers went as John Wick, one of the coolest characters in one of the best action franchises of the last decade. Rodgers clearly had a great time with his teammates at a Halloween Party too.
Then when the week started, something happened that no one really thought too much about. Backup quarterback Kurt Benkert tested positive for COVID-19 and would be out this week.
And then it happened. It was announced that Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID, followed by the update that he was unvaccinated. He said earlier in the year, “Yeah, I am immunized.” But it appears he did not get vaccinated.
His fiancée, Shailene Woodley, their close friend Miles Teller, and his wife, Keleigh Sperry, have been outspoken regarding alternative medicines and lifestyles for years. It appears that Rodgers has been living the same way. This is not a judgment, just stating a reason why Rodgers wasn’t vaccinated.
Either way, Rodgers will now have to face possible fines, and the Green Bay Packers might be in trouble for not following NFL policies.
Now Green Bay is down to quarterback Jordan Love for their next game against the Kansas City Chiefs. They will also need to sign someone so they have a backup. That appears to already be Blake Bortles, who was with the team earlier this season. But the issue is that this might not be a one-player or one-week issue.
As we saw, Rodgers was close to multiple teammates, including Randall Cobb, Marcedes Lewis, and David Bakhtiari. Not to mention the other two Packers quarterbacks, Love and Benkert, were also in attendance.
So far, two players have walked away from the party with a positive test. There is no telling if other players will also test positive and miss out the next week or two. If you are vaccinated, you need two negative tests to return. If not, you can’t return for 10 days. That means Rodgers can’t return to the team until Nov. 13. He is missing the Kansas City Chiefs game and won’t return until the day before the Seattle Seahawks game.
The problem is that the party could turn out to be a super-spreader event for the team. There have already been two confirmed cases, and there is no telling if they will be the only ones. The Packers could be down several players for the second-straight game. It’s an unlucky turn for Green Bay. Other teams haven’t had a COVID issue that has the potential to be this significant. Other teams could also have more players vaccinated and be less likely to spread it among themselves. The timing isn’t terrible in regards to the season, but it’s not great regardless.
Does It Hurt Their Chances?
You have to hope that any players who have already had it or are going to get it will be okay. There is a very good chance, with youth and the physical health they are all in, they will all be fine and be back on the field in a few weeks.
There is also a slight chance one of them has a bad reaction or stays sicker longer than most. They could also get the brain fog that is common with this virus and not be as sharp on the field. Other players have come back without missing a beat. But you also have players like AJ Dillon, who got it last season and was gone for weeks.
You just have to hope they mostly weren’t around at-risk or unvaccinated people. People are still dying every day of COVID. It didn’t go away.
As of right now, I don’t think it hurts the Packers’ chances. Jordan Love has a chance to beat the Chiefs with their current roster, and the Seahawks are still really banged up.
The only risk is that, down the line, some key Packers players aren’t the same, or the virus makes them ill for weeks. The chances are pretty slim, but you never know. Athletes over all major sports have had healthy and young players get affected by COVID in different ways.
The problem is that it’s another headline-grabbing story involving Rodgers that the Packers didn’t need. They are 7-1 and at the top of the NFC standings. They just beat a top conference opponent without most of their receivers.
Now head coach Matt LaFleur has to answer questions for Rodgers on his birthday instead of focusing on heading to Kansas City. He has to prep a new quarterback and bring in another backup in case Love also tests positive. We now have another Packers-Chiefs matchup where one of the best quarterbacks in the league will be missing.
This week, and maybe all of November, just got a lot harder for the Packers. We have to be thankful it was now and not in the first week of January. Hopefully everyone can stay healthy and re-focus on winning it all.