Barnes suffered a significant ankle injury during Week 1, knocking him off the field for nearly two months. He returned to practice earlier this week, and it didn’t take very long for him to make his way back to the active roster.
The 2020 undrafted free agent out of UCLA has quickly established himself as a starting-caliber linebacker. In 30 career games (23 starts), the 24-year-old has collected 161 tackles, nine tackles for loss, and a pair of fumble recoveries. He’s also started three postseason games, compiling another 20 tackles. Pro Football Focus wasn’t particularly fond of his performance over the past two years, although they did grade him out as an above-average pass-rusher.
Barnes’ return couldn’t come at a better time for the Packers. Star linebacker De’Vondre Campbell suffered a knee injury during Green Bay’s Week 8 loss to the Bills, and he was ruled out for Sunday after missing the entire week of practice. This is a rare absence for the 29-year-old, as he previously missed only a single game over the past five-plus seasons. Rookie first-round pick Quay Walker will take over the ‘communication helmet’ for tomorrow’s game against the Lions.