Packers DC Joe Barry tests positive for COVID-19, will likely miss 'TNF' matchup vs. Cardinals

Green Bay will have to tackle its greatest defensive challenge of the season without its coordinator.

Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry has tested positive for COVID-19, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. Barry will likely miss Thursday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, but will be able to help the team prepare virtually while in isolation.

The news of Barry’s positive test would seem to increase the difficulty of the task ahead for the Packers, owners of the league’s seventh-ranked defense which is also tied for seventh in scoring, allowing 20.9 points per contest.

After getting shredded in a strange Week 1 loss to New Orleans, Barry’s defense has largely come together in his first season in charge of the group. Green Bay has weathered a few key injuries to limit opponents to just 24 combined points in the Packers’ last two games.

There is the question, of course, of opponent strength. Of the Packers’ six wins, only one has come against a team (Cincinnati) with an offense that ranks within the upper half of the league in total yards per game.

Arizona owns the seventh-best offense in terms of total yards per game, and the NFL’s fourth-best scoring offense, averaging 32.1 points per outing. While they’re expected to be dangerous through the air thanks to the presence of Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore and new arrival Zach Ertz (who scored the longest touchdown of his career Sunday), Arizona has surprisingly outperformed its passing game in terms of league ranking. Chase Edmonds and James Conner have formed a formidable one-two punch, elevating Arizona to the fifth-best rushing offense in the entire league at 136.6 yards per game.

That’s where the matchup between these two teams might tilt in favor of the Cardinals. Green Bay ranks 22nd against the run, giving up an average of 120.9 yards per game on the ground.

The Packers will have to prepare accordingly with the input of their coordinator available until Thursday night. Once the game kicks off, it’ll be up to the rest of their staff to fill the void against an explosive, undefeated offense.

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