Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was emotional upon his return to the football field on Sunday as the three-time NFL MVP helped his team to a 17-0 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
The 37-year-old, who is unvaccinated, sat out the Packers’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday due to the NFL’s Covid-19 protocols, which call for a mandatory 10-day quarantine period for unvaccinated players who test positive. Rodgers completed 23 of 37 passes for 292 yards with no touchdowns and an interception in Sunday’s game at Lambeau Field as the Packers (8-2) returned to winning ways.
“A lot of emotions, for sure,” Rodgers said after the game. “Good to be back with the guys, good to be back at home, good to be back on the field, really. Most emotions from the whole night was probably walking off the field after the game. Definitely got me a little misty heading off. So that was good to feel all those emotions and good to be back with the guys.”
Rodgers did not practice all week and was cleared to play Saturday under the NFL’s protocols for unvaccinated players. The QB said before the season he was “immunized,” and after his positive test, he detailed in an incendiary radio interview his reasons for seeking alternatives to vaccination and his skepticism about the shots’ effectiveness. He also attacked the “woke mob” over the backlash he received. Rodgers later apologized for the misleading statement about his vaccination status.
On Sunday, Rodgers said many had been supportive during his absence, including teammates, neighbors, coaches and Packers executives.
“Everybody has an opinion and I understand that it’s a very polarizing issue for some individuals but I’m just focusing on the support that I got and it was deep and wide, and greatly appreciated,” Rodgers said. “There’s always going to be criticism in this world. I don’t define myself by the criticism but I understand it’s a part of this because this issue is definitely polarizing. But again, I’m just so deeply grateful for all the people that reached out.”