Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry tests positive for COVID-19

October 25, 2021
Defensive coordinator Joe Barry is shown during the first day of Green Bay Packers rookie minicamp Friday, May 14, 2021 in Green Bay, Wis.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers’ short week just got more difficult. 

With just three days to prepare for a Thursday night game at the 7-0 Arizona Cardinals, the Packers learned that defensive coordinator Joe Barry won’t be attending the game because he has tested positive for COVID-19, a person with knowledge of the situation told the USA TODAY Network. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal medical information.

NFL Network was first to report that Barry had registered a positive test. 

Sources have said the entire Packers coaching staff is vaccinated, which means Barry won’t have to sit out the mandatory 10 days for those who aren’t vaccinated. He can return when he tests negative twice in a 24-hour period. 

It’s unlikely that would happen before the Packers play the Cardinals. 

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Barry will be able to take part in planning for the game through video conferencing and given that coach Matt LaFleur only has walk-through type practices planned for this week, he won’t miss much on-field time. 

However, LaFleur will have to appoint someone to call plays Thursday night. 

The most logical person is passing game coordinator Jerry Gray, who was a defensive coordinator with Buffalo (2001-05) and Tennessee (2011-13) and has plenty of experience calling plays. Gray was one of the coaches LaFleur interviewed for the coordinator’s position before hiring Barry this past offseason. 

Barry is the second Packers assistant coach to test positive this year, joining defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery, who missed a week of practice and the Detroit game in Week 2. The Packers have had two players – nose tackle Tyler Lancaster and receiver Malik Taylor – test positive during the regular season. 

Lancaster has since returned and Taylor may return this week. 



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