Suspension not expected, but Aaron Rodgers, Packers facing fines for COVID protocol transgressions
The NFL’s investigation into Aaron Rodgers and as to whether the quarterback and the Green Bay Packers properly followed COVID-19 protocol remains ongoing.
But regardless of the findings, the league’s punishment isn’t expected to feature a suspension of the 2020 MVP, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
Two people familiar with the deliberations predicted that Rodgers and the Packers will receive fines for their transgressions. The individuals spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation remains ongoing.
As an unvaccinated player, Rodgers should have followed protocols that included daily testing, wearing a mask at all times while inside, wearing a Kinexon proximity tracking device and abstaining from eating meals with teammates. The protocols also required Rodgers to stay away from indoor events at a bar or night club without wearing a mask with 10 people and to wear a mask while attending indoor family gatherings with 15 or more people in attendance.
The extent of Rodgers’ violations remain unknown. But he didn’t wear masks at news conferences and, on Halloween, partied with teammates while not wearing a mask.
According to the COVID protocols agreed to by the NFL and NFL Players Association, the maximum amount a player could be fined for a first offense is one week’s pay up to $50,000.
Additional offenses would carry stiffer penalties.
Fines for teams can vary depending on severity of the violation. Last year the NFL fined the Raiders $500,000 and a sixth-round draft pick for violating COVID protocols. The Saints also received a $500,000 fine and lost a draft pick in 2020. Meanwhile, the Patriots drew a $350,000 fine for a COVID-19 protocol violation.