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Cheese Curds, 11/10: Packers’ young defenders step up; team fined over COVID-19

The Packers were fined a six-digit amount, while both Aaron Rodgers and Allen Lazard got fines of around $15,000.

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NFL: Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers squandered their defense’s best performance of the year on Sunday, giving away nine points on special teams in a 13-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. But the fact remains that the defense, and several young players on that unit, held the Chiefs in check for almost the entire game, not allowing a touchdown after the contest’s first drive and coming up with another stop in the red zone.

Much of the credit for the unit’s performance should belong to young players, as a rookie, a second-year pro, and a third-year veteran all contributed in significant ways to the effort. The defense was a net positive in terms of expected points for the fourth time this season, and by that measure it was the team’s finest game of the year, even without a turnover.

Meanwhile, the Packers are facing fines over breaches of COVID-19 protocols involving quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Allen Lazard. These breaches are specifically related to the Halloween party that the two attended, and the team’s failure to disclose that to the NFL.

While a fine of just under $15,000 is virtually nothing to someone who makes the kind of money that Aaron Rodgers does, the league’s hands are tied; they are limited by the COVID-19 protocols and fine schedule that they negotiated with the players’ union, and therefore cannot fine either player more or less than the reported amount.

Read on for more about the fines and the young players who stepped up for the defense on Sunday.

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The Packers have been fined $300,000, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers and receiver Allen Lazard have each been fined $14,650 for violating COVID-19 protocols. While this seems like a drop in the bucket for Rodgers (it is), the fines are largely consistent with how the NFL has levied these types of punishment over the past two years:

It is also notable that the league had little wiggle room on the players’ fines, as that fine schedule was collectively bargained by the NFLPA.

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