The COVID-19 scandal in which Aaron Rodgers was the subject, has already come and gone. It was big news a few weeks ago but nothing says “Get over it” like winning football games. But the debate still lingers as to how Rodgers’ alleged dirty dance with the truth has affected or will affect the Packers and what the consequences might be going forward.
As Packers fans all know, this is not the only controversy that has embroiled the team’s future Hall of Fame quarterback this year. During the offseason, bad blood still resonated from the Packers’ choosing quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The team believed they found maximum value sitting at the 26th overall position considering Rodgers was in his mid-30’s and likely to have only a few more superstar seasons left in the gas tank.
However, Rodgers was dismayed that the team had not reached out and informed him of their intended first-round target and the heir to his throne. It didn’t sit well with Rodgers then and his disenchantment was only exacerbated after the Packers took a defensive player, Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes, in the first round of the 2021 draft as opposed to getting Rodgers an offensive weapon to add to his arsenal.
Shortly after April’s draft, Rodgers demanded a trade and reportedly whittled the three teams down to the Broncos, 49ers, and Raiders. Packers’ management made it very clear they would not budge and Rodgers ultimately decided to acquiesce, much to the delight of Packers fans everywhere. If you visited an NFL forum right around this time you would know there were bettors ready to plunk down wagers on whichever team Rodgers landed to win this season’s Super Bowl. But because he stood pat, the Packers were still one of the favorites at +1200, trailing only the Chiefs (+500), and the Bucs (+650), to win it all. You should always make sure to check out the latest NFL picks if you’re thinking about getting in the action.
Rodgers Goes Viral
When asked about his vaccination status at an August 26th, 2021 news conference Rodgers replied, “Yeah, I’m immunized.” Notice he didn’t say vaccinated but immunized, as Rodgers subsequently admitted he hadn’t been vaccinated but took homeopathic remedies to effectively build up his body’s immunity to the novel coronavirus.
During an August press conference, Rodgers spoke about the National Football League’s guidelines ahead of the 2021 season.
“You know, there’s a lot of conversation around it, around the league, and a lot of guys who have made statements and not made statements, owners who have made statements,” he said at the time. “There’s guys on the team that haven’t been vaccinated. I think it’s a personal decision. I’m not going to judge those guys. There are guys that’ve been vaccinated that have contracted COVID. It’s an interesting issue that I think we’re going to see played out the entire season.”
After it was discovered that Rodgers had contracted the novel coronavirus, he said he did his own research, and in his mind, immunized himself without getting vaccinated.
“I didn’t lie in the initial press conference,” Rodgers declared on The Pat McAfee Show on November 5th. “And at the time my plan was to say I’ve been immunized. It wasn’t some sort of ruse or lie … I found an immunization protocol that could best protect me and my teammates. And it was a long-term protocol that involved multiple months.”
The lawyers of the world had to share a momentary grin upon pondering the semantics of Rodgers’ dalliance with the truth but the NFL was certainly not smiling after he contracted COVID-19 and was put in medical protocols. Rodgers had also been asked in August about his perspective on the NFL’s guidelines and the pandemic in general.
The smoke has already cleared from this embarrassing episode and it has cost Rodgers not only a game away from the team, which happened to be a 13-7 loss to the Chiefs, but an endorsement with Wisconsin-based Prevea Health. The company went on record saying the parting was “mutual”.
As to how this will affect the team going forward, it’s already been pretty much of a nothing burger in terms of the team welcoming Rodgers back to the fold. The Packers defeated one of the best teams in the NFC, the Los Angeles Rams, last week despite an offensive line that was in tatters and a quarterback who is dealing with an injured toe.
The Pack is back and they are, along with the Cardinals and Bucs, one of the favorites to cop the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Aaron Rodgers may not have many more games left in Green Bay but he’s got the remainder of the regular season and a postseason ahead to bring one more Lombardi Trophy back to the Cheeseheads who never want to see him leave.