On Tuesday of the Packers’ bye week last week, it was announced that Green Bay inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell was placed on the reserve/Covid-19 list. With the Packers no longer having media availability for the week following the announcement, we had to wait until Monday to hear about Campbell’s status from head coach Matt LaFleur.
LaFleur stated, “Dre’s doing well. We’re hopeful that we can get him back in this building and we’ll see where he’s at when he can come back in on Friday, provided that he’s asymptomatic, which I believe he is. He’s doing everything he can at home to be at his best and we’ll make sure that we incorporate him throughout our gameplan meetings through Zoom and he’ll be a big part of it.”
There are a couple of things to digest here. First, it’s great that Campbell is asymptomatic and isn’t dealing with a major complication after testing positive for Covid. The fact that Campbell cannot return to the facility until Friday means that he’s operating under the league’s unvaccinated player protocol, as he would be able to return sooner than a hard date of Friday if he were vaccinated. Campbell’s Friday return date works alongside the same 10-day timeline that quarterback Aaron Rodgers operated under when he tested positive for the virus earlier this season.
Had Campbell tested positive during any other week, as an unvaccinated player, he would have had to miss at least one contest, as the NFL mandates that unvaccinated players who test positive must not enter the facility for 10 days and return only when asymptomatic. Vaccinated players may return to the facility after two positive tests 24 hours apart if they are asymptomatic.
This is also a stark tone change from LaFleur, who when Rodgers tested positive essentially refused to answer questions about Rodgers’ timeline to return because it would hint at Rodgers’ vaccination status. In regards to Campbell, LaFleur answered the question immediately and basically let the world know of Campbell’s vaccination status.
Hopefully, Campbell is healthy enough to return to the field on Friday and play against the Chicago Bears. The NFC’s defensive player of the month for October has been having a career season and has a chance to make a legitimate claim for a Pro Bowl season in 2021.