Karma may still want a word with Aaron Rodgers
The city of Seattle in Green Bay has not lived up to the hype, and how is it really possible? Karma gets involved in pro wrestling all the time, sure, but it rarely happens in the NFL and almost never in the middle of the regular season.
So those who were hoping to see Aaron Rodgers get hurt to mislead most everyone about his vaccination status will have to take their time. Same for those who were hoping he’d come out of a 10-day quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 like some avenging superhero, proving that cocktails created by Joe Rogan out of dog hair work just like anything else the Centers for Disease Control puts seal of approval.
As it turns out, Rodgers was barely better than Russell Wilson – the Seahawks QB was coming back himself from a hand injury – and was good enough to help the Packers take a 17-0 win on Sunday.
“I’m happy, I’m very tired,” Rodgers said. “It’s been 10 days too long.”
Unlike his coach and teammates, Rodgers spoke to reporters after the game via video conference rather than in person, so apparently he didn’t have to wear a mask.
Moments later, he added, “I’m feeling pretty good mostly.” “I would say I played fairly aggressively.”
Rodgers completed 23 of 37 passes for 292 yards, with two touchdowns and an uncharacteristic interception in the end zone. He’s thrown under, over, or to the wrong side of the receivers a few times and even bounced once off the helmet of Seattle defensive linear Brian Mooney.
But “hard” was a reasonable description of the 37-year-old QB’s return after a period of layoffs due to gale-force winds, occasional snow and near-freezing temperatures in the Lambeau field. Wilson was lucky for him, he was much more rusted. If the game proves anything, it’s that the Packers defense is rapidly forming as a unit worthy of the Super Bowl.
“I wouldn’t say we’re a defensive football team just yet, but we’ve definitely been playing that way in the last few weeks,” Rodgers said.
The development helped pave a rocky path that could have cost the Packers much more than the league’s $300,000 fine for violating its COVID-19 protocols, but instead saw them bolster their division lead and take the lead in the NFC. However, how long this work lasts depends largely on where Rogers takes his crusade from here.
He’s already been fined $14,650, lost at least one endorsement and two unsatisfactory (not to mention unscientific) interviews that Rodgers gave on the Pat McAfee Show that no fans got back. His teammates, whether they supported his position or not, would not dare to speak out. Coach Matt LaFleur knew what Rodgers meant by “fortify” when we got lost last August and wasn’t about to start rocking the boat now.
“You guys could sense, they were excited to get him back,” LaFleur said. “I felt it (Saturday). I felt that (Sunday). … Anytime you bring a player of this caliber back into your squad, I think everyone is very excited.”
Rodgers has already made it clear that he does not intend to get vaccinated anytime soon and under league protocol, he cannot be forced into a five-day quarantine for “close contact” with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t be tested again until two days after a game Next, though, Rodgers will have daily auditions, which raised the question of how he would feel if his unprotected condition caused him to miss the Super Bowl.
“I don’t like playing what-ifs,” Rodgers replied. “What I do know is that I have over two months at the moment where my protocol is not tested every day. So that is the only thing I can think of.
“I don’t like to play the virtual game,” Rodgers continued. “Obviously, I’d love to play the second weekend in February, and hopefully we’ll be in that position.”
There is an easy way to take the “what if” question out of the equation entirely. It’s called a vaccine, and it’s readily available just a short drive from the Packers facility or wherever you are while reading this. It’s not just something smart, or something you do to help the team, it’s also good karma.
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