The Green Bay Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was required to spend the last 10 days in isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus on Nov. 3, resumed play on Sunday afternoon against the visiting Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field.
As with other unvaccinated N.F.L. players who test positive, Rodgers faced a compulsory 10-day isolation period then needed to be cleared by a team doctor, in consultation with an independent expert, before returning.
In August, Rodgers had initially evaded directly answering a reporter’s question asking if he was vaccinated against Covid-19, saying only that he was “immunized.”
But in a Nov. 5 interview, his first public comments after his positive test, Rodgers espoused baseless claims about Covid-19 vaccines and treatments and circulated misinformation about science. He told the Pat McAfee Show that his decision not to get vaccinated put him in the “cross hairs of the woke mob” and in a “cancel culture casket.” Rodgers, though, later acknowledged he had misled the public about his status.
On Tuesday, the N.F.L. fined Rodgers and a teammate, Allen Lazard, $14,650 for violating Covid-19 protocols the league established in tandem with the N.F.L. Player Association. A video review determined that Rodgers did not regularly wear masks, as mandated, inside the Packers’ facility or during his news conferences.
Rodgers and Lazard also breached protocols by attending a Halloween party unmasked. The league fined the Packers $300,000 for not monitoring their behavior.
Rodgers’s case has drawn attention from government officials, including Dr. Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general, who went on “Fox News Sunday,” to remind viewers about the higher risk that the unvaccinated face and the threat they pose in spreading the virus.
“In any community, sometimes our decisions do affect other people,” Murthy said. It’s why “we have speed limits on highways because we know our decision about how fast we drive affects the safety of others. So, while freedom is absolutely important, we also have a collective responsibility to one another when our decisions impact the health and well-being of others.”