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Reports: Packers, Aaron Rodgers fined by NFL for violating COVID-19 protocols

The NFL fined the Packers for COVID-19 protocol violations including unvaccinated Rodgers not wearing a mask at press conferences with media members present.

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The NFL reportedly completed its investigation into the Green Bay Packers' COVID-19 protocols and fined the team $300,000, while quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Allen Lazard each received $14,650 fines.

Per ESPN's Rob Demovsky, the team's cooperation with the investigation was taken into account but the Packers were warned that further violations could result in more severe punishment including loss of draft picks.

Demovsky reported the fines from the Packers were from Rodgers not being masked at press conferences with media present and from the Packers not reporting that Rodgers and Lazard went to a Halloween party. That's where Rodgers and Lazard's fines came from, as they violated the protocol that unvaccinated players aren't supposed to gather in groups of more than three.

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The NFL also reportedly reviewed video camera feeds inside the Packers facility and found a few isolated instances where Rodgers and Lazard were not masked inside the facility, but no consistent non-mask-wearing. 

Rodgers has been in the news since last week when he tested positive for COVID-19 and then NFL media reported that Rodgers is not vaccinated, meaning he would miss more time than a vaccinated player.

Criticism was heavily leveled at Rodgers because he told reporters in August he was "immunized" when asked about whether he was vaccinated against COVID-19. Many took that to believe he was vaccinated against COVID-19.

Rodgers appeared on The Pat McAfee Show later that week to address criticism against him. Rodgers explained why he wasn't vaccinated and that he pursued alternative methods to get immunized against the virus. The NFL did not accept his immunization methods to be considered vaccinated, meaning he would have to follow protocols for an unvaccinated player.

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Rodgers ranted in that appearance about the vaccine, slammed the NFL for its protocols and said he did not lie to people about his status. 

However, Rodgers made his regular appearance on The Pat McAfee Show days later, on Tuesday, and changed his tune. While he said he was standing by what he said and what he believes regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and alternative treatment and the protocols, he said he was taking responsibility for misleading people about his status. 

“I’m an athlete, I’m not an activist,” Rodgers said Tuesday. “(My opinion on the vaccine) wasn’t one that was come to frivolously, it came from a lot of stuff. Further comments I’m going to keep between myself and my doctors. I don’t have further comments about anything after this interview.”

Backup Packers QB Jordan Love replaced Rodgers on Sunday, when Green Bay lost to the Chiefs 13-7.

Rodgers said in the interview he was confident that will be able to return to the team on Saturday, when his NFL-mandated 10-day isolation from the team is over, and that he'll be able to play the Seattle Seahawks at home on Sunday.