Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers tests positive for COVID-19

Backup quarterback Jordan Love will start for the Packers on Sunday against the Chiefs

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) smiles after making a touchdown throw
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) smiles after making a touchdown throw against the Arizona Cardinals in the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. Darryl Webb/AP Photo

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers won’t play against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday after testing positive for COVID-19, according to reports.

Quarterback Jordan Love will start for the game in place of Rodgers, head coach Matt LaFleur confirmed Wednesday. The Packers drafted Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft.

NFL Network reported Rodgers told teammates Wednesday of his positive test.

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The network is also reporting Rodgers isn’t vaccinated against COVID-19. In August, Rodgers was asked if he was vaccinated, and he replied, “Yeah, I’ve been immunized.”

LaFleur declined to comment on Rodgers’ vaccination status. When asked Wednesday whether the quarterback misled fans, LaFleur said, “That’s a great question for Aaron.” LaFleur said he doesn’t know whether Rodgers is experiencing any symptoms.

“All I can say is he’s in the COVID-19 protocols. We don’t say who tests positive or whatnot. That’s what the league wants,” he told reporters.

Per NFL protocol, a player who is vaccinated must get two consecutive negative tests after a positive test in order to return to the team. If a player is not vaccinated, they’re required to quarantine for 10 days.

The Packers had COVID-19 trouble last week.

Davante Adams and Allen Lazard were ruled out of the team’s game against the Arizona Cardinals and placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Adams tested positive for the virus and Lazard, who is not vaccinated, was deemed a close contact of Adams. Lazard has been removed from Green Bay’s reserve/COVID-19 list, and LaFleur said he’s hopeful Adams and defensive coordinator Joe Barry, who also recently tested positive for COVID-19, will be able to return to the team Thursday.

The Packers are following COVID-19 protocols, LaFleur said. But the team could be shorthanded at the quarterback position this weekend. Green Bay’s practice squad quarterback Kurt Benkert is also on the reserve/COVID-19 list. According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, both Love and Benkert are vaccinated.

The team is looking for a backup quarterback, LaFleur said, and he’s unsure whether Rodgers could miss more than one game. ESPN reports quarterback Blake Bortles will be signed to the Packers’ practice squad and available for Sunday’s game.

“It’s a great challenge. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us, and we all have to prepare to the best of our ability to go down there and get a win,” LaFleur said when asked about his message to the team. “And that’s the mindset. They’re not going to postpone or cancel the game. We have a game to play. It’s the next man up mentality, and that’s how we’ve operated for everybody. I think our guys will rally around Jordan.”

Love has been working hard every day, LaFleur said. “Now it’s going to come down to his ability to go out there and execute,” he said. LaFleur thinks Love is excited about having the opportunity to start Sunday’s game, he said.

“I think he’s just going to have to go out there and operate and lead our offense, and we’re going to have to do a great job, just like we have been, at taking care of the football. And conversely, on the defensive side, we’re going to have to be opportunistic,” he said.

In August, Wisconsin Public Radio reported Rodgers was vaccinated. That story has been updated to reflect the language he used to discuss his own vaccination status.