In Aaron Rodgers return, Packers Championship priorities are clear

“Everyone has an opinion, I understand it,” Rodgers said. “This is a very polarizing question for some people. But I am only focusing o...


“Everyone has an opinion, I understand it,” Rodgers said. “This is a very polarizing question for some people. But I am only focusing on the support I received and it was deep and broad and greatly, greatly appreciated.

Rodgers made his post-match availability by videoconference, but when asked why he chose to be interviewed remotely, rather than in a room with reporters like he had been doing all season, he did not respond. To Rodgers, who tends to choose his words carefully, his silence seemed like a not-so-subtle admission that he didn’t want to adhere to the mask-wearing protocol required when unvaccinated players are speaking in person with reporters.

When asked directly at the end of August if he was vaccinated against Covid-19, he first replied “yes” – implying that he had been – before declaring that he was “immune”. It was smart bad management, and it allowed him to escape criticism that other quarterbacks, like the Colts ‘Carson Wentz and the Vikings’ Kirk Cousins, absorbed. In an interview last week with McAfee, Rodgers admitted his response had been spurious.

The Packers, however, knew from the start that Rodgers was unvaccinated, and allowing him to walk around their headquarters and hold press conferences without a mask – a blatant violation of the Covid-19 protocols of the league – reinforced an NFL axiom: the better the player, the more prepared an organization is to endure.

Rodgers’ talent has given him certain privileges that lesser players, vaccinated or not, probably would not have enjoyed. The choice to activate Rodgers (and Lazard, who is also unvaccinated) cost the Packers a fine of $ 300,000 for failing to apply these protocols at football facilities or at a party. Halloween of the team Rodgers attended, unmasked. Both players were fined $ 14,650 last week.

While protecting Rodgers was clearly in their best interest, the Packers’ benevolence could be seen as a conscious move to avoid hardening his mellow after a hell of an offseason. He and management seem in sync, for now; Rodgers ahead of the trade deadline praised both his communication with general manager Brian Gutekunst and the staff moves that have guided Green Bay as Arizona lost to Carolina on Sunday atop the NFCRodgers thanks to concessions that the Packers agreed to with his contract, has the power to choose where he plays next season, and it probably won’t be Green Bay, who is yearning for another championship.

Rodgers is exempt from daily testing for 90 days, a period that expires the week before the Super Bowl. It’s possible that if the Packers moved forward, he could miss the game, either as close contact or by testing positive again.

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Newsrust - US Top News: In Aaron Rodgers return, Packers Championship priorities are clear
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