For the second week in a row, the Green Bay Packers are faced with the external challenge of COVID-19.
They had their hands full in week 8 playing on a short week against the lone remaining undefeated team in the league, the Arizona Cardinals. Preparing for the Cardinals became significantly more challenging when there was a minor COVID breakout in their receiver room. Davante Adams and Allen Lazard both tested positive and were ineligible per the leagues safety protocols in regards to the virus. That left Rodgers without his top two receiving weapons, and as the week went on, defensive coordinator Joe Barry would test positive and be announced absent as well.
Rodgers would go on to play lights out with the B-team, and their effort, paired with an impressive defensive outing, led to the Packers taking down Arizona. The victory reshaped the NFC standings and created a three-way tie atop the conference with Green Bay, Arizona, and Los Angeles all sitting at 7-1.
Unfortunately for the Packers, COVID has struck again ahead of their week 9 contest with Kansas City. This time they will be without Aaron Rodgers, as he tested positive this morning, and will be ineligible until November 13th. This is the second time that the Packers have traveled to Arrowhead Stadium in the last three seasons, and it is the second time that viewers will be robbed of a Rodgers v. Mahomes showdown. In 2019, Mahomes dislocated his knee in the second quarter against the Broncos the week ahead of the Packers coming to Kansas City. The Packers would go on to defeat a Chiefs team led by Matt Moore 31-24.
The news of Rodgers’ absence this week can also be dressed up as a massive break for the Chiefs. The team sits at .500 through eight weeks, massively under delivering on expectations, and is in dire need of a momentum swing for the season. They are yet to win back-to-back games this year, but a matchup against a Green Bay team with Jordan Love at the helm is far more favorable than against the MVP. Their odds are boosted substantially, with the spread moving from Chiefs -1.5 all the way to Chiefs -7.5.