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Report: Aaron Rodgers has cleared COVID protocols

Green Bay Packers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The big question heading into the showdown between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers has been the availability of the future Hall of Fame quarterbacks for each team.

For Seattle, Russell Wilson returned to the 53 man roster from injured reserve on Friday afternoon, making his return to the field on Sunday all but official. As for Green Bay, things had been on hold as the Packers waited for Rodgers to clear COVID protocols, and according to reports that came Saturday morning.

So, as Schefter notes, Rodgers has cleared protocols, and simply needs to be moved to the 53 man roster prior to 4 PM New York time in order to be able to take the field Sunday.

Now, this is certainly going to rankle the feathers of some Seattle fans, who were angered by the inability of the league to clear Seahawks tight end Gerald Everett to return in time for the Seahawks Week 5 Thursday game against the Los Angeles Rams. The difference between the two is that Everett, who was vaccinated, needed to provide two negative samples in order to receive clearance, while Rodgers simply needed to be asymptomatic after ten days and pass a cardiac screening.

The issue that led to Everett not being cleared in a timely manner is the fact that the team administered a type of COVID test to Everett which is not an approved test under the NFL-NFLPA collectively bargained return to play protocols. Specifically, the Seahawks reportedly used Mesa tests, while NFL protocols require players to produce negative PCR tests in order to return to play. It may seem like a minor detail, but the simple fact is that because these protocols are collectively bargained, the league medical office had zero wiggle room to allow it to clear Everett to return to play when presented with negative tests that did not meet the requisite return to play criteria. As such, Everett was forced to miss the loss to the Los Angeles Rams, while Rodgers is able to return on Sunday without requiring a negative test because CDC guidelines provide that a person is no longer contagious ten days after testing positive.

In any case, Rodgers versus Wilson is now on, and hopefully Wilson can deliver the first Seahawks win in Green Bay since the Clinton Administration.