With all of the COVID-19 prevention protocols in place for the 2020-21 NFL season, players are being forced to adjust to some pretty unfamiliar routines.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers feels these protocols have put a strain on the season so far, saying he sees double standards in what he views as unfair rules.
“You can dap up a guy after a game, but you can’t eat at the same lunch table as a teammate,” Rodgers said Tuesday on SiriusXM’s The Pat McAfee Show.
"I think we miss that chemistry & I know people don't give any credence & don't give a shit about chemistry but I think it's really important"@AaronRodgers12 on how COVID protocols have changed the dynamic & not being able to hang out with teammates #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/Li4suvxFOW
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) November 10, 2020
“You can go down to practice and hit each other and be in close contact, but you have to have Plexiglass between you and the guy next to you in the locker room. I just think some of those things, to me, really don’t add up.”
The Packers QB concedes that there must be legitimate reasons for some of the rules, but said he also thinks a lot of it is just for appearances.
“Some of it is definitely for the optics of it,” Rodgers said. “Some of it probably based on science, but it’s definitely changed the season, for sure.”
Rodgers is also finding his team struggling more than ever to maintain chemistry amid the COVID-19 restrictions.
“I know a lot of people don’t give any credence or don’t [care] about chemistry, but I think it’s really important,” Rodgers said.
The quarterback took a much more critical tone in his discussion on The Pat McAfee Show than he did earlier this week when he addressed Packers insiders over Zoom call. In the virtual meeting, Rodgers was far more complementary of the NFL COVID-19 protocols.
“There obviously was talk about the protocols and the amount of testing we were going to do,” Rodgers said. “I think the [players’ association] and the owners agreed that keeping it every single day was important to making sure we had the right updates on the health of our players. I think that’s been good. I think it’s been a change, but I think we’ve done as well as we can in Green Bay. We’ve had a couple guys test positive, haven’t had the widespread stuff that so many people prognosticated about, that we weren’t going to get to this point. I think maybe some people even were hoping we wouldn’t get to this point.”
Despite Rodgers’ complaints about unfair protocols and lack of team bonding, the Packers have been largely successful this season. Green Bay leads the NFC North with a solid 6-2 record.
Rodgers and his squad take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lambeau Field on Sunday.