NFL News: Latest on Aaron Rodgers, Henry Ruggs III and Odell Beckham Jr.

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVNovember 3, 2021

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The NFL trade deadline may have passed Tuesday, but Wednesday proved to be a busy day across the league.

One of the game's top stars will be out for a highly anticipated Week 9 matchup, while a high-profile wide receiver appears to be at loggerheads with his team. Here are some of the NFL's top stories.

Rodgers Tests Positive for COVID-19

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur confirmed Aaron Rodgers had tested positive for COVID-19, which rules him out for Sunday's clash with the Kansas City Chiefs. Jordan Love will become the team's starting quarterback as a result.

"We have a game to play," LaFleur told reporters. "It's the next-man-up mentality and that's how we've operated for everybody. I think our guys will rally around Jordan. We've got a lot of confidence in him, and what a great opportunity for him to showcase what he can do."

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo, Rodgers is unvaccinated. Addressing the topic in August, the nine-time Pro Bowler said, "Yeah, I've been immunized," when asked if he'd received the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Depending on Rodgers' vaccination status, he could miss as many as 10 days, thus raising some doubt about his status for Week 10 as well.

Beckham 'Excused' from Practice

USA Today's Josina Anderson reported the Cleveland Browns excused Odell Beckham Jr. from Wednesday's practice. More than that, head coach Kevin Stefanski reportedly gave off the impression that Beckham's time in Cleveland may be nearing an end:

Mike Jones @ByMikeJones

Kevin Stefanski said GM Andrew Berry and Odell Beckham Jr.'s representatives have been discussing a number of things and the decision was made that he wouldn't practice today. OBJ wasn't at the facility because decision had been made ahead of time.

Michael Silver @MikeSilver

Earlier today, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski told his players that Odell Beckham Jr. is essentially not on the team right now and that the WR has been told to stay at home.

The 28-year-old remained with the Browns through the trade deadline, "despite him not wanting to be there," per ESPN's Kimberley A. Martin. She added that Cleveland spoke with the New Orleans Saints about a possible deal but that nothing was completed.

Beckham is on pace to have his worst season with 17 receptions for 232 yards and zero touchdowns so far.

His father, Odell Sr., shared a video that highlighted all of the times Beckham was supposedly open, thus making an obvious critique of Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Beckham doesn't have any guaranteed money left on his deal, so Cleveland can release him in the offseason and save the entirety of his $15 million salary cap hit, per Spotrac. That allows the two sides to make a clean break in a few months, but things might come to a head before that.

More Information Surfaces about Ruggs Crash

Police announced Tuesday that Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III would be charged with driving under the influence resulting in death following an early morning crash that killed one person.

Following a preliminary investigation, prosecutors said at a bail hearing Wednesday that Ruggs was traveling at 156 mph prior to the collision and his blood alcohol level was also measured at 0.161 percent, twice Nevada's legal limit (0.08). 

The Raiders have already released Ruggs, whom they selected 12th overall in the 2020 NFL draft. In 20 games with the team, he had 50 receptions, 921 yards and four touchdowns.

The Associated Press' Ken Ritter noted Ruggs could face up to 26 years in prison if found guilty on his DUI charge and a separate charge of reckless driving. His bail was set at $150,000 with several conditions including that Ruggs can't drive, can't drink alcohol and will be under electronic monitoring.


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