Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers in COVID-19 protocol, out vs Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) passes against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is in the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol and will miss Sunday’s game at Kansas City.

Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur confirmed Wednesday that Rodgers was in the protocol, but would not say if Rodgers had tested positive nor if the reigning NFL MVP has been vaccinated.

“I’m not going to get into any of our coaches’ or players’ vaccination status,” LaFleur said..

LaFleur also didn’t speculate on how long Rodgers might be out.

“I just know that he won’t be available this week,” LaFleur said. “And we have a great opponent we’re going against, and then we’ll address next week when we get there.”

Rodgers is the latest Packers player to deal with the coronavirus. Wide receivers Davante Adams, a 2020 All-Pro, and Allen Lazard missed last week’s victory at Arizona because of COVID-19 protocols.

The anticipated matchup between Rodgers and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be put on hold once again after Mahomes missed the first matchup due to injury.

The Chiefs sit at 4-4 after a Monday night victory over the New York Giants and the Packers are 7-1 after a narrow victory gave the Arizona Cardinals their first loss of the season.

There was a moment early in the second half of Monday night’s game against the New York Giants when Mahomes saw the familiar sight of No. 10 streaking wide open down the middle of the field.

Mahomes might have released the ball a split second too late. Or perhaps he underthrew it just a bit.

Regardless, the ball bounced off the defender for an incomplete pass, rather than land in the outstretched hands of Tyreek Hill.

And while the big-play misfire didn’t ultimately end up costing Kansas City in a come-from-behind 20-17 victory inside rainy Arrowhead Stadium, it did seem to neatly summarize the first eight weeks of the regular season.

The Chiefs (4-4) are still ridiculously talented. They’re just missing their usual high-octane rhythm by oh-so-much.

“You only have a few deep shots. You have to make sure you execute them,” Mahomes said afterward. “Defenses have had safeties 25 yards deep on us. Whenever you get those opportunities, you have to execute on them.”

That’s not where the problems with execution end.

The Chiefs also committed 12 penalties for 103 yards, committed two more turnovers to run their total to 19 — more than any other season under Andy Reid — and needed two fourth-quarter field goals from Harrison Butker just to survive.

“I say it all the time. If we have guys open, if I throw and hit the right spot, we can move it against just about any coverage,” Mahomes said. “We have answers for everything. But there are times we stall out or don’t execute or I throw the ball and don’t hit the right spot, or penalties — I know week after week it’s been showing up, but I’m sure we’ll find a way to snap out of it. And when we do, we’ll be a tough offense to stop.”

Now would be a good time. The Chiefs are still facing an uphill climb in the AFC West and have the Green Bay Packers coming to town Sunday for what some thought could be a Super Bowl preview before the season began.

The Packers have lived up to their end of the bargain. The Chiefs are still trying to do the same.

“They don’t just give these away. That other team is coming after you,” Reid said, “and you’re going to get your best shot.”

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