A day after placing placing Davante Adams on the reserve/COVID list, the Green Bay Packers are down another wide receiver as they prepare for the Arizona Cardinals.
The Packers announced on Tuesday that Allen Lazard has joined Adams on the reserve/COVID list, potentially leaving them shorthanded for Thursday's game against the undefeated Cardinals. They're also expecting to play the game without defensive coordinator Joe Barry after he tested positive for COVID-19.
The team didn't confirm why Adams and Lazard are on the list, which doesn't necessarily mean that they've contracted COVID-19. Placement on the list could result from a positive test or exposure to someone who has tested positive. Either way, their status for Thursday's game against the Cardinals is in doubt. It's not clear if they've been vaccinated against COVID-19.
A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Adams tallied 1,374 receiving yards and an NFL-best 18 receiving touchdowns last season. In seven games this season, he has 744 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Lazard starts alongside Adams and has 15 catches for 184 yards with two touchdowns in seven games.
DC Joe Barry tests positive
The Packers had previously announced that Joe Barry had tested positive for COVID-19 and isn't expected to join them for Thursday's game. Head coach Matt LaFleur told reporters that defensive backs coach Jerry Gray could inherit play-calling duties for Thursday's game in Barry's absence. Gray has previously worked as a defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans.
"We feel confident with a guy like Jerry who's called it before and had a top-five defense in this league," LaFleur said, per Packers.com. "Regardless of who calls it, we're going to have to be on our A-game. This is a heck of a challenge against the best offense in the league right now."
The Packers confirmed that Barry has been vaccinated against COVID-19, which is required of NFL team staff who interact with players. The team did not divulge if he was symptomatic. His breakthrough case required that Monday's coaches' meetings be held virtually. The team will continue to prepare for this week's game under additional mitigation protocols required by the NFL.
Critical game in NFC
Thursday's matchup pits the 6-1 Packers against the the NFL's last remaining unbeaten team and could end up having implications on playoff seeding at the top of the NFC bracket. The Cardinals improved to 7-0 with Sunday's win over the Houston Texans. They'll host Thursday's game as 6-point favorites at BetMGM.
The Cardinals are helmed by MVP candidate Kyler Murray at quarterback and boast the NFL's seventh-ranked offense, averaging 402.1 yards per game. Their 32.1 points per game rank fourth in the league.
They announced on Monday that they've activated Pro Bowl linebacker Chandler Jones from the reserve/COVID-19 list.