Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will reportedly miss Sunday's matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs due to testing positive for COVID-19, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
In place of Rodgers, Jordan Love will make his first NFL start. This marks the second regularly scheduled occasion where Mahomes and Rodgers were set to face off but ultimately saw a backup take the field, as Mahomes's kneecap injury sidelined him just before taking on Rodgers and the Packers in 2019. Now, COVID-19 will keep Rodgers home when his team travels to Kansas City.
Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network have reported that Rodgers is unvaccinated. Rodgers had previously told reporters he was "immunized."
What does this mean for the Chiefs?
To be blunt — and, obviously, entirely from a football perspective — this is a massive break for the Chiefs. Aaron Rodgers would have been a massive test for the struggling Kansas City defense, and the Chiefs need to steal at least a couple of unexpected victories throughout the remainder of the season if they want to stay firmly in the playoff chase. With a loss to the Packers, they'd drop to 4-5 before finishing the season with five games against their AFC West foes in addition to the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinatti Bengals. If they're able to rise to 5-4 with a victory over Jordan Love's Packers, they could give themselves a chance to retake the division over the next several weeks.
However, it's more than fair to note that the Chiefs struggled against the New York Giants on Monday, and even with Love, the Packers should be a better test than the Giants provided. The Packers are also coming off a Thursday Night Football game, giving Green Bay extra rest while the Chiefs operate on a short week.
Love starting in place of Rodgers is by no means an assurance of a Chiefs' victory, but it certainly gives them a better chance.