Omaha, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska football great Johnny Rodgers, back home after spending more than two weeks in hospital with COVID-19, said on Tuesday that he believes his improved physical condition has saved him many Helped to produce better results than 70 years-olds who contract coronavirus.
The 1972 Heisman Trophy winner admitted in a telephone interview with the Associated Press from his Omaha home that he had not been vaccinated. He said he thought he had a device he had installed in his home that, along with another type of air cleaning machine, weakened the virus, giving him a measure of protection.
“I figured with all of this, I’m fine,” Rodgers said.
However, Rodgers said he now plans to be vaccinated once his doctors say he is able to do so.
“At the time I covered it,” he said, referring to the appliances in his home. “I wasn’t really around a lot of people. It was something unexpected—like being in closed quarters for 10 hours at a time[while traveling]—that threw me for a loop.
“At that particular time I wasn’t really worried about it because I was so healthy. I didn’t think I needed it. Now I feel like I definitely needed it the most. More people need it.” needed.”
Rodgers, nicknamed “The Jets”, grew up in Omaha, played on Nebraska’s national championship teams in 1970–71 and won Heisman in 1972 as a senior. He is best known for his electrifying punt return for the touchdown against the hardcore Oklahoma in 1971. .He was also a unanimous All-American in his last two seasons. He was an NFL first-round draft pick in 1973, but played most of his professional career in Canada.
Rodgers said he believes he became infected while driving sick family members from Denver to Omaha last month.
Rodgers said he was hospitalized on Thanksgiving Day and was released last weekend. He also had pneumonia. He said he has no underlying health conditions and plays racquetball four or five times a week.
“I didn’t watch any TV. I didn’t talk on the phone,” he said. “The only thing I did was to try to hold my breaths together to keep my oxygen levels up so that I could be there. Don’t have to help the (breathing) machines.”
Brief coughing spells interrupted Rodgers’ interview on Tuesday, and he said he still had a long way to go for his recovery.
He said he made rapid progress through rehabilitation, which allowed him to be discharged from the hospital.
“They want you to get up and do leg lifts or squats or arm lifts,” he said. “When you can’t do one, you’re sick. That’s the point I was at. I ended up doing more than one. I was recovering. Depending on how far I was, I was at twice the rate of recovery.” I was going. I recovered much more quickly than most people.”
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