The Packers have already previewed their defense without Barrington. They played most of the Bears game without him, and the different schemes involved a lot of Nate Palmer and Clay Matthews. They were the only other inside linebackers who played last week. LB Jayrone Elliott unexpectedly received some playing time, but maybe that was because LB Nick Perry was stinking up the joint (his negative 4.3 grade from PFF was the worst of any defender last Sunday) and he wasn't playing just so Matthews could spend more time inside."Different schemes, different players" will replace Sam Barrington. More from Coach McCarthy: http://t.co/B6C5ATnrnM pic.twitter.com/OrZ2uZDfn5— Green Bay Packers (@packers) September 16, 2015
It's going to be a rocky ride for Palmer, who's new to the inside backer position, still playing with a splint on his injured hand, and now has to wear the speaker helmet for the coaches instructions on the field. Maybe with an extra week to prepare, they'll plan on working rookie Jake Ryan into the defense, though he didn't take the field against the Bears (except on special teams). Without a lot of depth on the inside, the loss of Barrington might become a big problem if Palmer struggles with his role on defense.