GREEN BAY — Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list, clearing the way for the reigning NFL MVP to make his return Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.
Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 last week, preventing him from joining his team for a 13-7 road loss to the Kansas City Chiefs that snapped the Packers’ seven-game winning streak.
The Packers on Saturday activated Rodgers and cornerback Isaac Yiadom. They also released linebacker La’Darius Hamilton.
Even though Rodgers didn’t practice all week, coach Matt LaFleur has said the 37-year-old quarterback would start if available. Rodgers participated virtually in team meetings this week while backup Jordan Love took the first-team reps in practice.
“He’s been in every meeting,” LaFleur said Wednesday. “He’s been engaged. So it’s just he’s not with his guys out on the field. That’s the dynamic that you never know. But we’re fortunate to have a guy that has got a ton of reps under his belt, has played a ton of ball, so we’re pretty confident that provided he checks out well, he can go out there and play at a high level.”
Love, a 2020 first-round pick from Utah State, made his first career start in place of Rodgers on Sunday. He went 19 of 34 for 190 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Rodgers has completed 67.1% of his passes for 1,894 yards and 17 touchdowns with three interceptions this season. He threw for 17 touchdowns with one interception during the seven-game winning streak.
The NFL fined Rodgers and Packers receiver Allen Lazard $14,650 this week for violating league and players union COVID-19 protocols. The Packers were fined $300,000.
Sunday’s game will feature two star quarterbacks returning to action. The Seahawks’ Russell Wilson also expects to start Sunday after missing three games with an injury to his right middle finger that required surgery.
Although Rodgers will be playing, the Packers might have to wait a little longer for the return of 2020 All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari, who was activated from the physically unable to perform list Wednesday but is listed as doubtful for the game. Bakhtiari hasn’t played since tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament on Dec. 31.