Husker legend Johnny Rodgers recovering from COVID-19, plans to vaccinate

After over a week in the ICU, Rodgers says he plans to get vaccinated as soon as possible for an extra layer of protection.
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 5:37 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Nebraska Husker legend Johnny “The Jet” Rodgers battled COVID for more than a week in the intensive care unit.

“Man, when you can’t breathe — it’s a trip,” the former Heisman Trophy winner said.

“The Jet” has been out of the hospital for about a week now, his recovery from the virus continues slowly from his living room. Rodgers says he needs oxygen everywhere he goes.

“I have to plan a long time ahead to make sure I could get anything done,” Rodgers said. “I can’t do anything fast at all. It takes a while — I really do need oxygen. So, I can’t be without it. I can’t hardly walk from one room to the next without coming down with a coughing spell.”

The Husker legend never received the vaccine. He will now, he says, as soon as his doctor gives the OK in the next few weeks.

“It’s a real virus — you can really die,” he said. “So you really need to take all the steps you can take.”

Nebraska’s top doctor believes that when people hear about what the virus did to the 70-year-old former wide receiver, it will inspire others who have been reluctant to get vaccinated.

“Those are examples that people need to take heart with and say, ‘Maybe it’s my time now to get vaccinated,’ ” Nebraska State Medical Examiner Dr. Gary Anthone said.

After more than a week in the ICU, Johnny Rodgers says he plans to get his COVID vaccine whenever he can after a tough battle against the virus.

The next steps for the former Heisman: continue to rehab and build up lung power.

“I used to be ‘The Jet’; now I’m just a prop plane,” he said.

Rodgers told 6 News that he knows now the vaccine would have given him another layer of protection to fight COVID-19.

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