Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tests positive for COVID-19
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not play during Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, CBS Sports reports.
Rodgers' positive test, per CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora, comes after the team's practice squad quarterback Kurt Benkert also contracted the virus. Jordan Love is the only other quarterback on the Packers roster.
The team selected Love in the first round (26th overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft as a possible successor to Rodgers. The upcoming game against the Chiefs will be his first NFL start.
The Packers (7-1) head into Sunday's game with the best record in the NFC North. Meanwhile, the Chiefs (4-4) are tied with the Denver Broncos for the third spot in the AFC West.
According to NFL Network, Rodgers is not vaccinated. When asked during an August press conference if he's received the COVID-19 vaccine, Rodgers said that he's "been immunized."
While people who have had COVID-19 could have antibodies to the virus, those who are vaccinated are still more protected against it. A new study by the CDC found that unvaccinated people who had survived a previous COVID-19 infection were more than five times more likely to be reinfected with the virus compared with those who were fully vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
The NFL releases COVID-19 testing results and vaccination rates each week for the previous two weeks. For the week of October 3 to October 16, there were 14 new confirmed positive tests among players and 26 among personnel.
Unvaccinated individuals are required to test daily and those who are vaccinated are tested once a week, but may volunteer for additional testing, and can be subjected to daily tests if they were exposed to COVID-19, the NFL says.
The league has conducted nearly 100,000 COVID tests this season, Dr. Allen Sills, chief medical officer of the NLF, said during a press conference last week. He said that 94.1% of the players are vaccinated and "virtually 100% of our other staff are vaccinated."
Sills said the CDC has been in contact with the NFL about how their high vaccination rate was achieved, "because they feel like that's a vaccine success story." He said the CDC will publicize the NFL's vaccine strategy and how it can be used as a
model for other parts of society."
The league did not mandate vaccines for players but there are consequences if there are COVID-19 breakouts. Teams that have to reschedule games due to COVID-19 breakouts among unvaccinated players will have to forfeit the game, CBS Sports reports.
The NBA and MLB also did not mandate vaccines for players, however, some local mandates take precedent. For example, NBA star Kyrie Irving, who is unvaccinated, cannot play during home games for the Nets because of a New York mandate that requires professional athletes to be vaccinated to practice or play in public venues.
When news about Irving's home game absence was announced last month, a league source told CBS News that 96% of its players had been vaccinated.
Vaccine mandates for sports leagues are negotiated with the unions the players and staff belong to. For example, though NBA players aren't required to be vaccinated, the NBA reached an agreement with the National Basketball Referees Association to require vaccinations for all referees working NBA games during the 2021-22 season.
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