In what felt like the start of his national image rehabilitation, Aaron Rodgers found a very friendly stop – the ManningCast.
Making a guest appearance with co-hosts Peyton and Eli Manning on the ESPN2 telecast of “Monday Night Football,” the Green Bay Packers star quarterback faced no questions about coronavirus — the controversy that engulfed him after his false claims about the COVID-19 vaccination status and misleading statements about his vaccination status.
After testing positive for COVID-19 in early November, Rodgers was fined $14,650 by the NFL for violating the league’s COVID-19 protocols. But there was no mention of that on the ManningCast with Peyton and Eli Manning.
During Rodgers’ TV appearance, which lasted for most of the fourth quarter of the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns, the conversation revolved around football.
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Aaron Rodgers acknowledges the crowd as he leaves the field after defeating the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field.
At one point, however, Peyton Manning did ask Rodgers about Pat McAfee, who hosts the eponymous Sirius XM show on which Rodgers spoken most freely about COVID-19. McAfee, a former NFL punter who played with Peyton Manning on the Indianapolis Colts, also has provided Rodgers a friendly platform, on which the Packers quarterback has addressed not getting vaccinated for COVID-19.
“How did you get so close to my old teammates, Pat McAfee?’’ Peyton Manning asked.
Rodgers told the story about having met McAfee at a golf tournament, but did not address the comments he has made at “The Pat McAfee Show.”
The nature of the ManningCast came through during a stretch when the conversation turned to coaches’ grooming habits. Rodgers lauded Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur for his well-groomed eyebrows.
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Later in the telecast, Rodgers revealed, “Matt LaFleur’s blowing me up. He’s being sensitive, I was talking about his eyebrows.’’
Eli Manning sounded delighted by the development.
“That’s the goal of the whole show is to be able to come on and make a mistake and talk bad about somebody or say a curse,’’ he said.
But the goal of the show was not to ask a future Hall of Fame quarterback questions that made him uncomfortable. At least not on Monday night.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ManningCast: Aaron Rodgers spared questions about COVID on MNF show