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Inbox: All the Packers can do is prepare

You can never count any player out this time of year

Defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery

James from Santa Maria, CA

Wes and Frank. I so needed your words Tuesday, Wes. In 2013, I contracted valley fever and ended up in a coma. Since then, I have been fighting the get some semblance of a life back. It scarred my heart and lungs and at 42 I couldn't walk 60 seconds without passing out. To see the fear on my wife's face at times is unbearable knowing there's nothing I can do to change it. So what I learned today is I'm no Frank Lamping because I've felt like giving up, but this morning I can say I'll never stop fighting.

You're stronger than you give yourself credit for. Because you are still here and you're still fighting – and you've been doing that long before I wrote what I wrote on Frank. And thank you to all the readers who passed along their kind words the past 48 hours. Most importantly, I appreciate everyone taking time to honor Frank. I wrote a few words from the heart but Frank is the one fighting the ultimate fight. Please keep sending your prayers and positive thoughts his way. He needs every single one of them right now.

Mike from Ames, IA

This is more of a question for the readers than the Insiders, but did anyone else actually fist pump when Lynn Dickey finally won a "any Packer QB ever" question just then!? On any given Monday-Saturday, anything is possible!

I know a certain manager of the Packers' digital department who was pretty jacked about Spoff's answer, too.

Gary from Davenport, IA

Bill from Maple Grove brought up an interesting scenario in Wednesday's Inbox. He asked which QB/WR duo would be best if the Packers were at fourth-and-20 on the 50-yard line with 20 seconds left and down by two points. He didn't say where the game was being played, though. My thought was if the game was in Denver and the wind was favorable, I would choose Mason Crosby. Do you think he could make a 68-yard field goal with altitude and a little wind to aid him?

Maybe, but I'd rather roll the dice with Dickey and Lofton, Brett Favre and Sterling Sharpe, or Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson. I'd rather win with a jaw-dropping play than lose with a field-goal attempt fluttering to a stop in the end zone.

Kary from Sheboygan, WI

A Hail Mary question comes up, and Spoff answers Lofton and Dickey? You only needed one last name: Rodgers.

This is also an acceptable answer.

Mitch from Brown Deer, WI

I'll take Brett Favre to Robert Brooks all day.

Don't make Evan from Marquette come after you.

Phil from Marietta, GA

I continue to see Inbox questions such as, "Will (insert Packers player here) have a big impact in the coming year?" These are typically in reference to the potential for a role player stepping into more prominence. The truth is that no one knows. You both seem patient and consistently give answers in some variant of, "He'll have an opportunity." Why do you answer these questions and why do fans believe you have some sort of crystal ball related to player improvement?

Because for every one of those we post, there are another 10 asking the same question. People love prospects, so why not stoke the excitement fires a little? We're all speculating here. Unless, of course, we're talking about the ascension of Allen Lazard and Chandon Sullivan last year, of which I saw both coming from a mile away. Also, I'd much rather answer those questions over other popular topics such as "What's your favorite color?", "I'm gonna give up my Brown County seats if you keep talkin' like that," or "How many TDs did Aaron Rogers (sic) throw last year?"

Randy from Ooltewah, TN

We have all been able to bask in the success of our Packers compared to the other NFC North teams since 1992. One of my favorite stats to point out was mentioned yesterday in the II, that Detroit has won only one playoff game since 1957. I also enjoy this stat: Days since the last NFL playoff win (as of June 18, 2020): Green Bay 158, Minnesota 165, Chicago 3,441, Detroit 10,392! Go Packers!

Ten thousand days? Have mercy.

Fritz from Stevens Point, WI

Regarding Darrius Shepherd, it seemed to me he's a great route runner, has great timing, hands and elusiveness with the ball. However, surprisingly, he looked totally out of place – like a high schooler even – when returning kicks/punts. I'm hoping that will be accepted and he gets a fair shot at WR despite that. After all, there are at least 45 others on the roster who would also look subpar (even ridiculous) returning kicks/punts, yet are crucial to the team in their best role.

Shepherd filled a need on returns early last season but he made the team based largely on what he did as a receiver. If we see those same flashes in camp this year, he'll be back in the conversation for a roster spot. I think the Packers have found their returner in Tyler Ervin, but that doesn't mean Shepherd still can't help this football team in 2020. You can never count any player out this time of year.

Spencer from Rockford, IL

In the convo about career-ending injuries, certainly can't forget Jermichael Finley. McCarthy's offense needed a solid TE, but after Finley went down the O was never the same. Saw glimpses of the potential with Jared Cook when he was healthy, but then adios to free agency. The Pack have had some outstanding potential lost in the last 20-ish years from injuries: Collins, Finley and Sam Shields.

McCarthy may disagree with me, and I'd be more than open to the conversation, but I don't think his offense needed a playmaking tight end as much as he said (or we thought). Don't get me wrong – Finley was a great player but he was a bit of a hybrid; the same goes for Cook. They succeeded in unconventional ways for the tight end position. As 2014 showed, McCarthy's offense was at its best when Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb were healthy and productive.

Al from Green Bay, WI

True or false: Tampa Bay will post a better record than New England in the upcoming season.

True. At least, that's the way it looks on paper. If the Patriots contend this year, Bill Belichick deserves all the roses pundits will undoubtedly throw at him.

Jason from Austin, TX

Unfortunately, I think this season will be defined by when certain teams are hit with coronavirus and which players are infected (how many impact players?). Do you think there will be an asterisks on this season?

No, as long as the entire season is played. I had a conversation with a few friends about this same topic over the past few days and they altered my opinion. At first, I thought maybe a Super Bowl victory in the "COVID" season wouldn't be as sweet. But fans are fans and those of the winning team will raise that Lombardi Trophy high and proud as any other year, I'd imagine.

Mike from Mount Prospect, IL

Gentlemen, I'm thinking this season (if it happens) will provide unprecedented opportunities for young players. With mandated testing for corona, players who test positive will miss games, and next man up will fill the spot. For a variety of reasons, this may be a season unlike any other.

Everything could go according to plan this season – and it still would go down as a season unlike any other. We're already there and all the Packers can do is prepare.

Thomas from Cedar Rapids, IA

Hearing that several players, including Ezekiel Elliott, tested positive for COVID-19 makes me aware of the importance of the cleaning/disinfecting crew in each team facility. Keeping the almost inevitable infection in check will be a monumental task. Team success may very well hinge on who has the best janitorial staff. My, how the world has changed.

Preparation and adaptation. The two teams that master those things will be the ones vying for a Super Bowl title early next year.

Jason from Greenwood, IN

What if, during a playoff run, a fair amount of starters on any team test positive for COVID-19 but are non-symptomatic? Think Jordan flu game and other athletes who stepped up to play while ill. Can the team hide this information somehow (I would expect the Patriots)? The league wouldn't postpone the game so the win could be an asterisk for the winning team. What a mess! Thoughts?

I don't think teams could hide it. I imagine it'll be the league, and outside medical professionals handling the testing, similar to the independent neurologists who must clear players to return from the concussion protocol.

Robert from Katy, TX

How will COVID affect roster size during the season?

Roster sizes are scheduled to be 65 players this year (53 active, 12 practice squad). I wonder, and this is complete speculation on my part, if the league might consider roster exemptions if a player contracts COVID-19.

Joel from Kalamazoo, MI

I, for one, don't care to see the Super Bowl venue paraded as much as the teams that made it that year. I did not like the New Orleans Mardi Gras beads, etc., associated with the Favre-led Packers victory. Nor do I care that a Rodgers-led Packers team won in Dallas. Unless they're at Lambeau Field, the venue means nothing to me. I just want to see my team, the Green Bay Packers, victorious in the Super Bowl every year. How many teams have won a Super Bowl on their home field? Thanks guys.

Personally, I kind of liked how the Mardi Gras theme was tied to the Packers' jerseys and the Super Bowl XXXI win. I remember those hats and patches. I couldn't even tell you what the Super Bowl XLV logo looked like or any of the apparel. And no team has ever won the Super Bowl on its home field.

Ed from Minneapolis, MN

Wes, I just donated blood. Much to my disappointment, it came out red, not green and gold. What's a fella to do?

Enjoy the free cookie? OK, a quick heads-up everyone. We won't be publishing any new content to the website or the Packers' social channels on Friday, as we observe Juneteenth with the rest of our colleagues across the National Football League. That means no Friday Insider Inbox but have no fear – "The Macho Man" Mike Spofford will be back Saturday. I'll talk to you guys next week.