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NFL investigating Aaron Rodgers, suspension unlikely

Vincent Frank

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will miss this week’s huge game against the Kansas City Chiefs after the reigning NFL MVP tested positive for COVID-19.

Despite Rodgers indicating ahead of the start of the season that he was immunized, the NFL has come to the conclusion that he’s not vaccinated from the virus. Instead, the future Hall of Famer received homeopathic treatment. That’s different than receiving the shots that are readily available to all Americans age five or older.

There’s now some belief that Rodgers violated the NFL COVID-19 policies by taking part in indoor press conferences and attending other functions, both team related and personal in nature. Continued violations of said policies could result in suspension.

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According to this note from Fox Sports insider Jay Glazer, the NFL has opened an investigation into the matter. However, any punishment levied in the quarterback’s direction would be a fine, not a suspension.

Should Aaron Rodgers be suspended?

Aaron Rodgers COVID-19
Oct 28, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts during the during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If the NFL investigation finds that Rodgers was in violation of protocols multiple times, there’s absolutely no reason why he shouldn’t be suspended. You can’t have different rules for the 53rd player on the roster and one of the faces of the league.

But it really is all about finances and the league’s bottom line. Rodgers is a major draw on national television. He’s one of the truly elite and recognizable players in the NFL today. Suspending him with Green Bay in the midst of a seven-game winning streak and hopeful to contend for a Super Bowl title wouldn’t do the NFL a service from a financial perspective.

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From a broader perspective, an argument can be made that both the Packers and the NFL are as responsible as Aaron Rodgers for the violations. Like every other starting quarterback, he takes part in weekly press conferences ahead of games. If the NFL knew he wasn’t vaccinated and didn’t step in when everyone could tell he was breaking the protocols, it’s a bad look for the league. The same thing can be said for the Packers, who are responsible for enforcing the league-mandated COVID-19 protocols.

Either way, Rodgers is out for Sunday’s game against the two-time defending AFC champion Chiefs. His absence will have an obvious impact on TV ratings for the game. It could also impact Green Bay’s standing in the NFC Playoff race, especially given that the earliest Rodgers could return is the Saturday before their Week 10 outing against the Seattle Seahawks.

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