Two days after the news he tested positive for COVID-19, will miss Sunday’s game against the Chiefs and is not vaccinated, Aaron Rodgers told his side of the story.

The Packers quarterback appeared on “The Pat McAfee Show,” speaking for about 15 uninterrupted minutes about all of the factors that went into his decision not to be vaccinated — and all of his issues with the backlash he has received.

“I realize I’m in the crosshairs of the woke mob right now, so before my final nail gets put in my cancel-culture casket, I think I’d like to set the record straight on some of the blatant lies that are out there about myself right now,” Rodgers began.

Rodgers said he didn’t “lie” during a late-August press conference when he said he was “immunized” and there was a “witch hunt” going on in the media over who was unvaccinated.

“It wasn’t some sort of ruse or lie, it was the truth,” Rodgers said.

Nevertheless, most people who heard his answer at the time assumed he was affirming he had been vaccinated. Rodgers said he would have responded to a follow-up question about being immunized.

“I would’ve said, ‘Look, I’m not some sort of anti-vax, flat-earther. I am somebody who is a critical thinker, you guys know me, I march to the beat of my own drum, I believe strongly in bodily autonomy,’ ” Rodgers said.

Aaron Rodgers discusses his COVID vaccine status on “The Pat McAfee Show.”

“I believe strongly in bodily autonomy and the ability to make choices for your body, not to have to acquiesce to some woke culture or crazed group of individuals who say you have to do something. Health is not a one-size-fits-all for everybody.”

When asked why he didn’t comply with NFL protocols and wear a mask during press conferences, as unvaccinated players are supposed to do, he quoted Martin Luther King Jr. and railed against a policy he believed “is not based in science.”

“The great MLK said, you have a moral obligation to object to unjust rules and rules that make no sense,” Rodgers told McAfee.

He said he studied the vaccines before making the decision, and claims he is allergic to one of the ingredients in Pfizer’s and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines. He said the CDC’s website advises people with allergies to ingredients in those vaccines not to take them.

He also decided not to take the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because he heard of friends’ adverse reactions to it, and the fact that it was temporarily pulled last spring over blood-clotting issues (though those clots affected mostly women, and in microscopic numbers). That is how he arrived at the decision to undergo a multiple-month homeopathic antibody process.

Aaron Rodgers claimed the “woke mob” is attempting to put the “final nail … in my cancel culture casket” for his COVID-19 vaccine views.

Rodgers said the NFL was aware of his immunization process, because he petitioned the league for an exemption. The league subsequently denied him an exemption. He said he lost faith he would succeed in his appeal when he had an unspecified meeting with the NFL and said a doctor from the league told him that “it was impossible for a vaccinated person to get or spread COVID.”

Per The Athletic, Rodgers was offered the opportunity to speak with a league doctor or infectious disease expert, but did not do so.

Rodgers said he was advised by his own doctors that he was more at risk of an adverse effect from vaccines than he would have been from COVID-19. He also said he felt symptoms Tuesday night, tested positive Wednesday and was feeling fine Friday.

Further, Rodgers railed against “coercion and collusion” from the league office about threats not to sign or retain unvaccinated players, especially ones who were deemed dispensable.

Rodgers said it is a near-term goal to be a father. He expressed concern that there have not been long-term studies completed on sterilization and fertility. Rodgers is engaged to actress Shailene Woodley.

Rodgers also said he consulted with Joe Rogan.

“I’ve been doing a lot of stuff that he recommended in his podcasts and on the phone to me, and I’m going to have the best immunity possible now based on the 2.5 million-person study from Israel that the people who get COVID and recover have the most robust immunity. I’m thankful for people like Joe stepping up and using their voice,” Rodgers said.

The quarterback also said he is “taking [monoclonal] antibodies, Ivermectin [an antiparasitic drug doctors have warned against taking to treat COVID], zinc, Vitamin C and D, HCQ [an antiviral that had its approval for treating COVID pulled by the FDA], and I feel pretty incredible.”

Despite that, Rodgers will still miss at least the Packers’ showdown with the Chiefs on Sunday. Backup Jordan Love is set to make his first NFL start and head coach Matt LaFleur doesn’t expect the increased Rodgers noise to be an issue.

“I’m not worried about that being a distraction,” the coach said Friday. “I’m worried about going to play a really good football team.”

INDIANAPOLIS – The Jets got blasted by the Colts, 45-30, on Thursday night to drop to 2-6 this season. Here are some thoughts and observations from the game.

1. What the heck has happened to the defense? I had concerns about this unit during training camp. With all the youth in the secondary, I thought the Jets could have a really tough year defensively. But the secondary has not been the problem. On Thursday night, the front seven, which is supposed to be the team’s strength, got gashed. It looked like they were doing everything wrong. They had no gap discipline, could not get off blocks and players at the second and third level of the defense took bad angles.

It resulted in the Colts rushing for a whopping 260 yards and accruing 532 total yards. The Jets have now given up more than 500 yards in two of their last three games. They have allowed more than 400 yards in four of their last five games.

Since Rex Ryan arrived in 2009, the Jets’ identity has been as a defensive team. Even when the offense has been terrible, the Jets defense has played with pride, especially against the run. That faded a bit last year when nothing went right, but prior to then, the Jets defense was their calling card.

That is no longer the case.

Jonathan Taylor runs past the Jets defense for a touchdown

The baffling thing about Thursday night was the Jets had starting linebackers C.J. Mosley and Jarrad Davis on the field. Both of them missed the Patriots debacle two weeks ago. The Jets have pointed to their youth as a reason for lower expectations this year, but the defensive line is an experienced group. Thursday night’s struggles against the run had nothing to do with being young.

Defense is head coach Robert Saleh’s specialty. The Jets wanted him to be a “CEO” coach when they hired him and not focus on one side of the ball. He gives defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich a lot of power. It may be time for Saleh to take a more active role with the defense. But I’m not sure this is a scheme problem. It may be a talent problem, as in the Jets simply don’t have enough right now.

2. You didn’t expect the Jets’ quarterback situation to just have a clean answer after Thursday’s game, did you? The Jets now find themselves with a fascinating decision to make for their next game against the Bills on Nov. 14. All indications after the game were that Mike White’s forearm will be fine for next week. Zach Wilson is also expected to return to practice this week, but Saleh has not said if he will be ready to play in the game.

Mike White and Zach Wilson warm up before a Jets game

My guess is that the Jets give White another start and tell Wilson to take another week off to get healthier and watch another game. If White stumbles against a good Bills team, then Wilson starts against the Dolphins the next week. If White plays well, things get interesting.

Wilson should benefit from watching these games. White and Josh Johnson have operated the offense well and shown what it should look like. We’ll see if Wilson can take those lessons from the sideline to the field.

The Jets have such a weird quarterbacks room right now. You have the would-be franchise savior in Wilson, the overnight sensation in White, the veteran who showed he can play in Johnson and Joe Flacco, who must be wondering why the hell the Jets traded for him.

3. I really like Michael Carter the running back and think he could be a key piece for the Jets moving forward. However, I think he needs to be more of a complementary back than the lead back. Carter does some great things. He is explosive and is great catching passes out of the backfield. I just don’t think he fits as a between-the-tackles runner. Ty Johnson is similar. The Jets need to find a big back who can be a bellcow. The Colts showed their great combination with Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines. Carter has similar skills to Hines. The Jets now need to find a Taylor.

4. All indications are that safety Marcus Maye ruptured his right Achilles tendon and will miss the remainder of the season. This could be the end of Maye’s time with the Jets. He will be a free agent in March and the Jets have not seemed interested in signing him long-term.

Your heart breaks for Maye, who has been a good player on bad Jets teams. He made a massive mistake this offseason when he was charged with a DUI. But overall his time with the Jets will be remembered for him doing the right things on and off the field. Coaches loved Maye – Todd Bowles, Adam Gase and Saleh all spoke glowingly of him. Maye was the team MVP in 2020, picking up a lot of the slack after the Jamal Adams trade.

Marcus Maye leaves the field after suffering an injury
Getty Images

From a beat writer’s perspective, Maye was always a professional to deal with. He was never a flamboyant quote or one to create controversy, but he consistently answered questions and was accountable. Maye’s finest moment with the Jets came after last year’s loss to the Raiders when Gregg Williams called the zero blitz in the final seconds. Maye came out and said the call was a bad one. He never mentioned Williams by name, but made it clear that the defense was not in position to succeed. It took the heat off of rookie cornerback Lamar Jackson, who gave up the game-losing touchdown. It was a great moment of leadership and showed what Maye is made of.

People ask me all the time if I root for the Jets. I don’t root for any team, but I root for individual players. Maye is one I’ll be pulling for. I hope he recovers from this injury fully and is able to have a long career.

Revealing stat

The Colts averaged 8.7 yards per play. That is the third-most ever allowed by the Jets, according to Pro Football Reference. The only games that were worse came on Dec. 3, 2017 when the Chiefs averaged 10.3 yards per play, and Oct. 31, 1971 when the Chargers averaged 8.9 yards per play.

Surprising stap count

There were not too many surprises. Jeff Smith got 22 snaps in the game, which is high for him, but that is probably related to the score and the Jets running so many four receiver sets.

Game ball

Josh Johnson’s jersey won’t be going to the Hall of Fame, but the journeyman quarterback did a nice job in relief of an injured Mike White. Johnson went 27-of-41 for 317 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Johnson was playing with teammates he never gets to work with in practice as the third-string quarterback. But the lack of chemistry did not show. Give Johnson credit for this effort.

Aaron Rodgers nailed his rendition of John Wick on Halloween, but the costume could cause some added stress amid his COVID-19 controversy.

Rodgers attended a team Halloween party last week, where he was seen in photos and a video without a mask while around other Packers players, including tight end Marcedes Lewis.

It’s unclear which players and how many attended the Halloween party that took place after the Packers’ 24-21 win over the Cardinals last Thursday.

The NFL is investigating whether the Packers enforced the league’s COVID-19 protocols after the quarterback, who is unvaccinated, tested positive for coronavirus and has been seen unmasked on multiple occasions.

Since the reigning NFL MVP is considered unvaccinated by the league’s standards, he will miss a minimum of 10 days. That will force Rodgers to miss a marquee matchup against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs on Sunday, when backup Jordan Love will get his first career start. He could return in Week 10, when Green Bay hosts the Seahawks.

Rodgers has also arrived to indoor press conferences at Green Bay’s facility without wearing a mask. That’s a violation of the NFL’s protocols for unvaccinated players, who are required to wear masks at all times in the team facility, and are unable to gather in groups larger than three players.

On the road, unvaccinated players “are prohibited from congregating, visiting or mingling with individuals outside of the traveling party once they have arrived in the game city.”

Unvaccinated players are subject to fines if they break COVID protocols. Repeat offenders could face suspension.

The details surrounding which protocols Rodgers has been following remain to be seen, along with whether the Packers eased their approach to enforcing protocols with the quarterback.

Aaron Rodgers’ Halloween costume could complicate his COVID-19 problems further.

Rodgers is also under fire for accusations he misled reporters when he said in August that he is “immunized.”

Over the summer, during his holdout with the Packers, Rodgers reportedly received an alternative “homeopathic treatment” from his personal doctor to raise his antibody level.

Aaron Rodgers’ John Wick costume may add to his current COVID-19 woes.

When he reportedly approached the NFL to review the treatment, in hopes of being cleared as a vaccinated player, the league and the NFLPA determined he was unvaccinated — meaning the league has known for some time Rodgers is unvaccinated.