Aaron Rodgers calls Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce 'Mr. Pfizer' during appearance on 'The Pat McAfee Show'

When Aaron Rodgers and Travis Kelce chatted on the field before the two teams' game Sunday night, many wondered what they could be talking about.

Rodgers' injury?

Taylor Swift?

Or could it really have been Kelce's appearance in a pro-Pfizer commercial given Rodgers' stance around vaccines?

It's been nearly two years since Rodgers' opinions about the pandemic, vaccines and the NFL's protocols set off a firestorm during the 2021 NFL season, one in which he won his fourth MVP in leading the Packers to the No. 1 seed.

But during his weekly Tuesday appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show," Rodgers was at it again. Out of the blue he brought up the topic by calling Kelce "Mr. Pfizer," referenced his "COVID toe" and said that was the reason he and Patrick Mahomes didn't have their must-see game in 2021.

Here's some background on Rodgers and COVID.

Why did Aaron Rodgers call Travis Kelce Mr. Pfizer?

Rodgers was discussing the Jets' Sunday night loss to Kelce's Chiefs when he casually dropped the "Mr. Pfizer" line to describe the tight end.

"Mr. Pfizer, we kind of shut him down a little bit," Rodgers said, referencing Kelce's six receptions for 60 yards and zero touchdowns. "He didn’t have some crazy impact game."

Rodgers kept going in his comment, but host Pat McAfee and co-host AJ Hawk, Rodgers' former teammate, clearly understood what their friend was doing and couldn't hold back their smirks.

Kelce, the superstar for the Chiefs who has made headlines beyond the field in recent weeks for his connection to pop icon Taylor Swift, is featured in a commercial that informs people that you can get a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as a flu shot this fall.

The commercial, which aired during the Chiefs-Jets game, is a paid partnership with Pfizer, one of the makers of a COVID vaccine.

Kelce shared the video on his Instagram account Sept. 22 with the following caption:

"With my schedule, saving time is key. The CDC says you can get this season’s updated COVID-19 shot when you get your flu shot if you’re due for both. That’s why I got two shots in one stop! Ask your doctor or pharmacist if it would be right for you. You can also visit CDC’s to learn more and schedule an appointment."

Kelce also notes that the "information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace discussions with a healthcare provider."

Later asked by McAfee on Tuesday if the two were talking about the vaccine, Rodgers said, "I think some things need to be left on the field. It's probably a better story left up to the imagination. But I’ve known him for a long time. Just a quick chat."

McAfee wondered if Rodgers was waiting for his moment to drop the "Mr. Pfizer" line.

"He’s doing commercials for Pfizer," Rodgers said. "I’m sure he’s owning it."

The Jets, Rodgers' new team, are owned by Woody Johnson, of the pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson, which was one of the makers of the COVID vaccine.

Aaron Rodgers and Travis Kelce chatted on the field before the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs squared off on Sunday night.
Aaron Rodgers and Travis Kelce chatted on the field before the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs squared off on Sunday night.

What is Aaron Rodgers' views on COVID, vaccines and the pandemic?

Rodgers received tremendous backlash in 2021 when he acknowledged he misled the public on his vaccination status after saying months earlier that he was "immunized" during a training camp news conference in Green Bay.

The NFL denied his 500-page report in which he tried to have his homeopathic treatments approved as a replacement for the COVID-19 vaccines. Rodgers said he is allergic to the COVID mRNA vaccines and repeatedly encouraged people to do their own "research" around vaccines, something he said he did.

After he tested positive for COVID-19 and violated the league's health and safety protocols, Rodgers blasted the NFL, including its mask requirements and policies for unvaccinated players, took aim at "woke mob," advocated for the unproven drug ivermectin and ripped President Joe Biden. Rodgers, who has been a strong proponent of the plant-based psychedelic ayahuasca in recent years, also lost a local health care sponsor along the way.

What is COVID toe that Aaron Rodgers referenced on "The Pat McAfee Show"

On Tuesday Rodgers also mentioned COVID toe. What is that?

After Rodgers returned from his 10-day quarantine following his positive diagnosis in 2021, Rodgers made reference on "The Pat McAfee Show" to having a "COVID toe injury."

Rodgers would later say he made the comment in jest, but some media outlets insinuated that he had a medical condition known as COVID toe.

Rodgers would set the record straight when he said he fractured his toe during a workout while he was recovering from COVID. But it got even weirder when he lifted up his foot for a camera during a virtual news conference. The image of Rodgers' foot quickly went viral.

"Tovid comes into existence and we go on a whole 'nother ride," McAfee reminded Rodgers and the audience on Tuesday. "Your toe became a whole 'nother side effect around the globe."

Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes continue to miss playing each other

The Sunday night game between the Jets and Chiefs was supposed to be Rodgers vs. Mahomes, two of the NFL's most-well-known names, on and off the field for the first time.

But for the third time in five years, that marquee matchup didn't happen.

Rodgers said on Tuesday he also got to see former Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling "who I love" and also "got to have a quick chat with Pat about how every time we're supposed to play each other" they miss out.

First there was 2019 when Mahomes missed the game because of injury. Matt Moore was under center for the Chiefs against Rodgers and the Packers.

Then there was 2021 when Rodgers missed the game after testing positive for COVID. Jordan Love made his first career start against Mahomes and the Chiefs.

And this year, with Rodgers injured with the torn Achilles, Zach Wilson had the honors of facing Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl champions.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Why Aaron Rodgers called Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce 'Mr. Pfizer'