The Green Bay Packers largely avoided any serious issues with COVID-19 last season. Monday proved that will not be the case this year.
The NFL Network was the first to report in the morning that defensive coordinator Joe Barry had tested positive for COVID-19. If he tested negative Tuesday and Wednesday, he could coach Thursday against Arizona but no one is expecting that to happen.
#Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry has tested positive for COVID-19, sources tell me and @RapSheet. He will surely miss Thursday’s game against the #AZCardinals, though he will be part of the planning virtually.
In the early afternoon the team announced that wide receiver Davante Adams had been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Because he’s vaccinated, the only reason he’d be placed on the list is due to a positive test. Adams would have to be asymptomatic and test negative twice in 24 hours to be available for Thursday.
Due to the developments, the team was placed into the NFL’s enhanced mitigation protocols. That includes having all meetings take place virtually Monday and masks must be worn by everyone inside the building regardless of vaccination status.
Coach Matt LaFleur spoke before the Adams news came out, but he did address the possibility of defensive backs coach Jerry Gray calling the plays for the defense with Barry likely out.
“That’s something that we’re kind of working through right now,” LaFleur said. “I think, regardless of how we do it, it’ll be a collective effort with everybody involved and have an input. But certainly, you feel confident with a guy like Jerry, who’s called it before and has had a top five defense in this league. So we definitely have people that we feel that are capable of getting the job done.”
Another aspect of the enhanced protocols is daily testing, meaning there could be more names added to the list of guys not available before Thursday’s game.