Because, yes, Rodgers' media appearances can apparently get stranger. Afterward, he promptly changed his Twitter profile picture to a screengrab of his toes to make it extra clear.
The "very, very painful" toe injury is a fractured toe he said he injured at home during his quarantine period this month following his positive COVID-19 test. He said the focus will be pain management and he doesn't plan to miss any time. The Packers (8-3) host the Los Angeles Rams (7-3) on Sunday.
What is COVID toe?
"COVID toe" is a real term used to describe issues with swelling, pain and discoloration suffered by COVID patients. It often appears anywhere from one to four weeks after a positive diagnosis; it usually goes away within six weeks.
During an appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show" on Tuesday, Rodgers said he "didn't have any lingering effects other than the COVID toe."
The group laughed and it was unclear if Rodgers was being serious. McAfee's "we-got-to-the-bottom-of-it" explanation and reaction seemed to lean toward truth, that he at least might believe it, or that he was in on the joke. The Wall Street Journal published a story on Wednesday describing the medical issue based on Rodgers' comment on the show and other publications followed.
Rodgers, who led reporters and fans to believe he was vaccinated, dropped comments later in the appearance about the injury he aggravated last week. At different points he said:
“I believe that I mentioned that it was more painful than turf toe — and I had turf toe two years ago,” Rodgers said. “Naturally I’m leading people to understand that if it’s worse than turf toe it must have some kind of bone issue.”
“I’ve given you enough information at this point — I have a toe injury that’s not going away and I’m going to be dealing with it for at least the next few weeks.”
Rodgers says he doesn't have COVID toe
A reporter opened Rodgers' video call by asking if the quarterback actually has COVID toe since it wasn't clear on the show. Rodgers appeared primed to answer and promptly lifted his foot to the screen.
Aaron Rodgers was clearly waiting for the COVID-toe question because you can hear him say, “I don’t know if I have room to get my toe up there,” at the start of his press conference.
Here’s his full answer about his fractured toe — with said toe on the screen. pic.twitter.com/hoC2UZTxME
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) November 24, 2021
“I mentioned yesterday that it’s worse than turf toe and it must be a bone issue — I can’t believe I have to come on here and talk about my medical information — but yeah, I have a fractured toe,” Rodgers told reporters. “I’ve never had a COVID toe before. I have no lesions on my feet."
Rodgers called it "disinformation when you perpetuate false information about an individual."
Rodgers doesn't plan to miss time
Rodgers said he and the Packers medical team will focus on pain management as the season continues. He said he'd take limited reps during practices to help with healing and he doesn't plan to miss any time due to the injury.
“The injury, I suffered when I was in quarantine doing my own workouts and trying to ramp up my conditioning,” Rodgers told reporters. “Didn’t think it was what it was until I go to the facility on Saturday before the game and got X-rayed when I got cleared and got back into the facility. So it’s just about pain management. There’s surgical options as well that wouldn’t involve missing time. So, thankfully, we’ve got a great foot guy in town [Dr. Robert Anderson] — the best in the business who everybody sends stuff to. But I’ll definitely look at all options over the bye week and decide what would be best to make sure I get to the finish line.”
After Sunday's game against the Rams, who are -1 at Bet MGM, Rodgers can take more time to heal during the Packers' bye week.