NFL refutes Aaron Rodgers’ claim that he spoke with league doctor

November 6, 2021
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers
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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 team had violated COVID-19 protocols. 

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. Rodgers tested positive for COVID on Wednesday, and it was later revealed he had not been vaccinated. 

The controversy rose to another level on Friday.

The MVP quarterback – who will miss the Packers’ game Sunday in Kansas City due to a 10-day minimum isolation – maintained during an interview on “The Pat McAfee Show” that an NFL doctor had told him “it would be impossible for a vaccinated person to catch or spread COVID.”

Rodgers didn’t identity the doctor who he claimed gave him such information, which is erroneous. Vaccines significantly reduce the risk of contracting or becoming ill from COVID-19, per the CDC. No vaccine is 100% effective, however, and “breakthrough infections” are possible.

The NFL quickly refuted Rodgers’ claim, telling Pro Football Talk: “No doctor from the league or the joint NFL-NFLPA infectious disease consultants communicated with the player. If they had, they certainly would have never said anything like that.”

Rodgers said Friday he opted for a homeopathic treatment that he apparently believed “immunized” him from the effects of COVID-19.

After Rodgers reported to Packers camp in August and told team doctors of his treatment while seeking an exemption from taking one of the three vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson), his case was forwarded to the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and in turn 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 that Rodgers underwent was not considered a viable replacement for the vaccines.

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Rodgers did not reveal details of his treatment. “The specific protocol, I am going to keep between me and my doctors,” he said Friday.

As several cases across the NFL last year that resulted in discipline to teams and individuals showed, the league’s investigation will undoubtedly rely on surveillance video obtained from the Packers’ training facility. That video should confirm whether protocols – such as unvaccinated players like Rodgers wearing masks and social distancing – were followed.

The Packers, Rodgers, or both, could be disciplined for violations.

Contributing: Tom Schad



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