If you were hoping for clarity on Aaron Rodgers’ vaccination status, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur was not there to play ball on Wednesday. Earlier today, news broke that Rodgers would miss this week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs due to a positive COVID test, with additional reporting from NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport stating that Rodgers would have to miss at least the next 10 days of in-person participation due to his unvaccinated status.
ESPN’s Rob Demovsky later reported that Rodgers attempted to petition the league this summer to recognize an “alternative treatment” as proof of immunization. In camp, Rodgers stated to the media, “Yeah, I’ve been immunized.”
When LaFleur opened up the press conference for questions today, he was immediately asked about Rodgers’ vaccination status. LaFleur stated, “I’m not going to get into any of our coaches’ or players’ vaccination status,” and, to his credit, he didn’t. He was even asked if Rodgers’ lack of wearing a mask in press conferences this year was breaking NFL protocol, and noted in a room full of reporters who may have unknowingly been exposed to an unvaccinated player in close quarters for multiple months, that commenting on Rodgers’ masked or maskless face would give hints on his vaccination status. For reference, wide receiver Allen Lazard, who is unvaccinated and missed last week’s game due to the fact that he was an unvaccinated player who had close contact with a COVID-positive person, has been taking press conference questions on Zoom throughout the year.
LaFleur simply was not going to budge on Rodgers’ vaccination status, but if Rodgers indeed is out for 10 days as NFL Network reported, logically, his status will be confirmed. When the head coach was asked if Rodgers calling himself “immunized” was “misleading to fans,” LaFleur responded, “That’s a great question for Aaron. I’m not gonna comment on it.”
LaFleur would go on to clarify a few aspects of this ordeal, though. He stated that practice squad quarterback Kurt Benkert, who was placed on the reserve/COVID list yesterday, was not in the building on Monday. That rules out one way that the virus could be spreading in the locker room. LaFleur also stated that he didn’t “know who was there, where it was, anything about it” in regards to the Packers’ Halloween party where a maskless Rodgers was seen partying with teammates in his John Wick costume over the weekend.
Aaron Rodgers dressed up as John Wick vibing to Pooh Shiesty is beyond too much pic.twitter.com/1FmnkFUXY3— XXL Magazine (@XXL) November 2, 2021
There were also updates on the franchise’s standing with the league. LaFleur claimed the NFL has never told the team that they were breaking protocol, which could be a question mark moving forward. Specifically, what could have broken protocol was allowing for in-person, maskless press conference time for an unvaccinated player, which the team refuses to comment on at this point. LaFleur also noted that the franchise is not technically in “enhanced protocols,” but that they have been “operating that way,” mentioning that the team has cameras set up all around the facility to keep people in line.