Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers Doesn’t Just Have Any Toe Injury. He Has Covid Toe.

 

Since Aaron Rodgers returned to the field after testing positive for Covid-19, having sat out 10 days because he was unvaccinated, the star Green Bay Packers quarterback has been dealing with a mysterious and painful toe injury.

After previously describing it in vague terms as a “Covid injury,” Rodgers confirmed what dermatologists had previously suspected.

“No lingering effects, other than the Covid Toe,” Rodgers said Tuesday on the Pat McAfee show.

Covid Toe is a casual name for something medically known as pernio or chilblains, which is a condition that causes symptoms such as discoloration and lesions. It can be extremely painful and turn the toes purple.

The shred of good news, when it comes to Covid Toes, is that they’re a sign of the body’s strong immune response to the virus.

Recent research, including an October study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, has found that Covid Toes typically occur in younger patients who experience mild symptoms. The problem is that, when the body produces too much of a type of interferon, it can create other problems—and produce Covid Toes.

“The way I would think about it is it’s basically a side effect of how your own immune system is fighting the virus,” said Esther Freeman, a doctor and principal investigator for the Covid-19 Dermatology Registry. “It’s part of our body’s response to the response to the virus. It’s almost too much of a good thing.”

Freeman, who’s also an associate professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School, says the incidence rate of Covid Toes isn’t precisely known. She also noted that the condition tends to occur one to four weeks after infection.

That timeline also neatly aligns with Rodgers’ symptom profile. News of Rodgers’ positive test first emerged on Nov. 3. After that sidelined him for 10 days, during which he missed a game, he returned to play the Packers’ game against the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 14. The day before that game, Rodgers was added to the team’s injury report with a toe injury.

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