Aaron Rodgers has met protocols for returning to play set by the NFL and NFLPA, setting the stage for the quarterback to return when the Green Bay Packers host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS).
ESPN first reported that the Packers are expected to officially activate Rodgers later Saturday after he tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 3. PackersNews, part of the USA TODAY Network, confirmed the report.
The NFL Network reported Saturday that Rodgers was back inside Lambeau Field.
As an unvaccinated player – the fact of which became the source of considerable controversy after the quarterback told reporters he had been “immunized” during training camp – Rodgers faced a mandatory 10-day quarantine after his positive test. His Sunday return means he is now asymptomatic and has been physically cleared to play by Packers doctors.
Though Rodgers’ skirting of the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols resulted in fines for the QB and team, the Packers (7-2) surely welcome his return after 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love struggled as the starter last Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Love completed 19-of-34 passes for 190 yards with a touchdown and an interception in a 13-7 defeat.
While Rodgers’ practice time with teammates entering Sunday will have been minimal-to-non-existent, he has been taking part in meetings virtually this past week.
The quarterback has also been doing some talking, with two appearances on “The Pat McAfee Show” since his positive test. Rodgers made controversial – and in some cases blatantly false – comments while defending his position. He did accept responsibility for his “misleading” remarks about seemingly being vaccinated.
But all that aside, Rodgers is set to get back on the field. With Seahawks QB Russell Wilson also set to return from injury, Sunday’s matchup at Lambeau Field will be must-watch – as will the news conferences after.
Contributing: Mike Jones