The Green Bay Packers will be without running back Jamaal Williams and rookie linebacker Kamal Martin when they face the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football to begin Week 9, as confirmed by CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. The reason for their absence is because both were designated as high-risk close contacts to running back AJ Dillon, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.
Per the NFL, because those players were deemed to be high-risk contacts to Dillon, they will need to isolate and remain away from the facility and team for at least five days after the last contact with Dillon, which was Sunday. That means the earliest they can rejoin the team would be Saturday. Had Green Bay not been slated to face the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football, there would have been a chance both Williams and Martin could suit up for Sunday. Now, they'll be looking at a Week 10 return when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars.
While Martin, who as a fifth-round pick of the Packers at the 2020 NFL Draft, has started the previous two games at linebacker for the Packers, the absence of Williams, who has totaled 216 yards from scrimmage over the last two games, may be the most difficult for Green Bay to overcome. The back was already filling in for Aaron Jones, who has been held out the previous two weeks due to a groin injury. If Jones is once against inactive along with Williams and Dillon, the Packers backfield is going to be extremely thin as Dexter Williams and Tyler Ervin are the only remaining healthy backs.
The good news for the Packers is that there have been no new positive tests, according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, meaning that their Week 9 contest is still on schedule to be played on Thursday.