Updated Nov 9, 2021 - Sports

NFL fines Packers and unvaccinated players for COVID protocol violations

Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after a play against the San Francisco 49ers during the NFC Championship game at Levi's Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Santa Clara, California.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Photo: Harry How/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers were fined $300,000 and players Aaron Rodgers and Allen Lazard were each hit with $14,650 in penalties following an NFL review, the league announced Tuesday night.

Why it matters: The fines were issued for violations of the league and NFL Players Association COVID-19 protocols.

Of note: Neither quarterback Rodgers nor wide receiver Lazard have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and both have tested positive for the coronavirus.

  • The NFL announced the review Wednesday in the wake of Rodgers' positive test result. The Packers were "fully cooperative" in the investigation, according to an emailed statement from a league spokesperson.

The big picture: The NFL fined the players "for attending the Halloween party while unvaccinated according to the discipline schedule negotiated by the NFL & NFLPA," per the league statement.

  • "Protocols prohibit unvaccinated players from gathering outside of the club facility in a group of more than three players," the statement added.
  • "The party wasn’t sanctioned by the team but the league determined the club should have penalized both players," according to a tweet from NFL Media's Mike Garafolo.
  • The Packers were fined for failing to report the violations to the NFL and for not disciplining Rodgers and Lazard, according to the league spokesperson.

Zoom in: The NFL investigation found other instances where the club failed to strictly enforce the protocols — notably over Rodgers failing to wear a mask at press conferences.

  • "The league reviewed substantial video from club facility," the NFL spokesperson said.
  • "While the review showed a few isolated instances of Rodgers and Allen Lazard failing to wear a mask in facility, they were substantially compliant otherwise. There [were] no widespread or systemic mask-wearing violations."
  • Representatives for the Packers did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment over the action taken by the league, first reported by ESPN.

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from the NFL.

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