The NFL’s review of the Green Bay Packers’ COVID-19 protocols was completed Tuesday, and a league source said the team was fined $300,000, while quarterback Aaron Rodgers and receiver Allen Lazard were each fined $14,650.
They were fined for violations of the protocols that were jointly agreed upon by the NFL and the NFL Players Association.
The source said the Packers’ cooperation with the investigation was taken into consideration, but the team was warned that future violations could result in increased discipline, including possible change in draft position or loss of draft choice.
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The violations included the unvaccinated Rodgers not wearing a mask during his news conferences and because the team did not report that Rodgers and Lazard attended a Halloween party, even though it was away from the team facility. By attending, Rodgers and Lazard violated the protocol that prevents unvaccinated players from gathering in groups of more than three, which was the reason for their fine. The amount of the players’ fines were part of the jointly agreed upon fine schedule between the league and the players’ union.
The investigation also included a review of video from inside the club facility and found a few isolated instances of Rodgers and Lazard failing to wear a mask in the facility. Other than those isolated incidents, the video showed no wide-spread or systemic mask-wearing violation, the source said.
“We respect the League’s findings and we recognize the importance of adherence to the COVID protocols to keep our team and organization safe and healthy,” Packers president Mark Murphy said in a statement to ESPN. “We will continue to educate the team regarding the importance of the protocols and remain committed to operating within the protocols.”
The investigation began last week after Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. He must isolate for 10 days and is eligible to return to the Packers on Saturday, one day before the team’s next game against the Seattle Seahawks.
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