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J.J. Watt out vs Packers, DeAndre Hopkins questionable

Thursday’s NFC clash between the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers will be missing some star power. 

The Cardinals announced on Wednesday that defensive end J.J. Watt missed his third straight practice with a shoulder injury and has been ruled out for Thursday’s game. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins also missed his third straight practice with a hamstring ailment. He drew a questionable tag after Wednesday’s session.

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 24: Defensive end J.J. Watt #99 of the Arizona Cardinals on the field during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Texans 31-5.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

J.J. Watt won’t play against the Packers on Thursday. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Packers shorthanded too?

The Packers are also facing the prospect of showing up shorthanded as they deal with COVID-19 exposures. Defensive coordinator Joe Barry tested positive for COVID-19 and isn’t traveling with the Packers to Arizona. Defensive backs coach Jerry Gray will handle defensive play-calling duties in is absence. Gray has previously worked as a defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans.

The Packers also placed wide receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard on the reserve/COVID-19 list this week. The designation doesn’t necessarily mean that either of them contracted COVID-19. Placement on the list could result from a positive test or exposure to someone who has tested positive. It’s not clear if either or both players have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The status for both players in terms of Thursday’s game is yet to be determined. NFL Network’s Steve Wyche reported on Wednesday that Adams was not traveling with the team to Arizona. If he is vaccinated and returns consecutive negative tests in time for the game, he could conceivably travel separately on gameday and play.  

Randall Cobb would move to the top of Green Bay’s wide receiver depth chart if both players can’t go. 

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