KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers won’t play Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Rodgers, who has spent his entire career with the Green Bay Packers, tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t be available per NFL protocols, according to NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero.
Rodgers, 37, is reportedly unvaccinated, according to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport, which is why he’s already been ruled out and won’t have a chance to test negative for COVID-19 on consecutive days and return in time for the game.
Rodgers told reporters in August when asked about his vaccination status that he was "immunized" and wouldn't judge teammates who declined to get the vaccine. Several reports at the time assumed that meant Rodgers was vaccinated, though it remains unclear.
Rodgers told reporters he was “immunized” but never said he was vaccinated. https://t.co/KW8hH9yLCO— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) November 3, 2021
The Chiefs host the Packers at 3:25 p.m. on Sunday on GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
After a tumultuous offseason, Rodgers has Green Bay (7-1) atop the NFC standings at 7-1 after knocking the Arizona Cardinals from the unbeaten ranks last week. He’s thrown 17 touchdowns with only three interceptions.
“You always want to compete against the best,” Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes said. "I just hope he is healthy ... COVID is a scary thing, so praying for him.”
The Packers won in the desert despite being without star wide receiver Davante Adams, who missed the game after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Another Green Bay wide receiver, Allen Lazard, also missed the Cardinals game after landing on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Lazard has since returned to practice, but Adams has yet to be reinstated as of Wednesday morning.
Jordan Love, a first-round pick in 2020, is Rodgers’ backup. He has appeared in one career game, coming on late in a season-opening blowout against the New Orleans Saints.
Love completed five of seven passes for 68 yards and has yet to throw a touchdown or interception. The 23-year-old played 38 games at Utah State from 2017-19 before declaring early for the NFL Draft.
"I had a chance to look at him and he's a good player — had a great college career and sounds like he's in a good position there," Chiefs Coach Andy Reid said.
The only other quarterback on Green Bay's roster is Kurt Benkert, a practice squad player who also is currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He played two seasons at East Carolina University and two at the University of Virginia in college.
He didn’t see the field last season as Rodgers led the Packers to an NFC North title, won the league MVP award after tossing 48 touchdowns with only five interceptions, and took Green Bay to the NFC Championship Game.
When the NFL expanded the regular season to 17 games in the offseason, the Chiefs-Packers was added to the 2021 slate, promising a tantalizing matchup between Rodgers and Mahomes.
Instead, for the second straight time, one of the NFL’s brightest stars will miss the game.
Mahomes missed a 2019 meeting with the Packers after suffering a dislocated knee in a win at Denver.
Kansas City (4-4) is coming off a 20-17 win Monday against the New York Giants.