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Inbox: Everyone has a part to play Sunday night

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Raymond from Marquette, MI

Wes – a nickname for Kyler: "Sackwell" Fackrell.

Already beat you to it, Raymond. Good morning!

Lori from Brookfield, WI

If you could ask Santa for the perfect game against the Vikings on Sunday, what would you include on your wish list besides the W?

And besides getting in my house before 2 a.m.? It’s going to seem somewhat cliché at this point, but I’d like to see the Packers start and finish strong on the road. They’ve done it a few times at home this season, but it has yet to happen away from Lambeau Field in 2018. What better way to catapult yourself into a favorable December slate than accomplishing that feat against an NFC North foe.

Patsi from Riverside, CA

Eeek! I hope the first half of the bold prediction from Jake from Athens, GA, doesn't jinx Aaron Rodgers this Sunday. We were just celebrating Rodgers' place all alone at the top of the stats as the single remaining QB with only one INT this season during last night's game. My hope this weekend is for the first game with no Packer turnovers at all. But I'm all on board for the second half of Jake's prediction.

Spoff hit it on the head with his answer Friday. Picks or no picks, Rodgers is challenging himself to play better and we all know how a rising QB1 lifts all ships. As this season has shown, the recipe for success in U.S. Bank Stadium is taking the ball away and scoring off those extra chances. Everyone has a part to play Sunday night.

Paul from Ellensburg, WA

Hey fellas, what are the actual odds Jake Kumerow plays this week and does this speak at all to the availability of Randall Cobb going forward?

Anything is possible, but I’d be kind of surprised to see Kumerow elevated back to the roster for Sunday night’s game considering he just started practicing again on Tuesday. It’s not that he’s not healthy, but he hasn’t practiced with the team for the better part of three months.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

Yay! Kumerow is back. Super Bowl here we come!

I don’t want to jinx Kumerow, but you can’t help but feel happy for the guy. As I wrote in our Thanksgiving story on Kumerow, the former UW-Whitewater standout has been on quite the journey since he entered the league in 2015. I don’t know of many 26-year-old receivers who have had to wait four years to play in an NFL regular-season game. If Kumerow manages to do that in the next month, it adds another great chapter to what’s been an incredible story this year.

Matthias from Hartford, WI

I noticed Dan Vitale (Superback) on the Packers’ practice squad. He reminds me a mix of Dallas Clark and Mike Alstott when he was in college. Without injury would we be seeing him on the field?

I know precious little about Vitale as a football player, but he passes the eye test for an NFL fullback. He was a top performer at the NFL Scouting Combine with 30 reps on the bench, a 38½-inch vertical and some impressive times in the shuttles. He could easily fill that hybrid H-back role in the future, if needed.

LD from Spokane, WA

You think we finally run the ball 20 or more times this week? I personally think with the success of our backs we have to do a better job of giving them touches and not abandoning the run as soon as we are down in the score. Rodgers is great but how much better can he be if we at least made people think we would run?

It could be, but the Vikings aren’t an easy defense to run against. Minnesota is fifth in run defense and tied for the league lead in average rushing yards per carry (3.6). The Vikings have yet to allow a 100-yard rusher in any games, but Aaron Jones could give them a run for their money. Either way, the Packers need to make Minnesota respect the run to chip away at that defense.

Pappy from Marina del Rey, CA

Is it Totally Tonyan Time?

The Packers remain crowded at tight end with Graham trying to play through the thumb injury, but that 54-yard touchdown catch should earn Tonyan a few extra looks.

Stan from Merrill, WI

My favorite season of all time was the 2010 season. The Packers barely slipped into the playoffs, and ended up winning it all. Packers fans have the perfect set-up for a repeat of this scenario. What was your favorite season?

Easily 2014. It’s too bad how things ended because it takes something away from what was otherwise a very special season. That team had it all.

Scott from Milwaukee, WI

Wes, how can anyone consider NFC Central better than NFC North, especially after GOT? North is strong and powerful. "Winter is coming" came out of the North. As a resident of Wisconsin, it irks me that our part of the United States is called the Midwest. Shouldn't it be the North, too?

This is the first time I’ve read anywhere about someone wanting to bring back the NFC Central. I’ll make you a deal, Dennis. If you convince Tampa Bay to relocate back to the Midwest, then we can call it the Central.

Ron from Sykesville, MD

So the Bears are getting it done and their defense is something. I know hindsight is 20/20 and there were cap factors in play, but will we rue the day we didn't trade for Mack? Does the Bears getting Mack with a young up-and-coming QB feel like the Packers getting White with an up-and-coming QB and turning their fortunes around?

I won’t argue against an impact player like Mack helping fortify Vic Fangio’s defense. It obviously has, but the comparison to the Packers signing White is apples and oranges. The Bears had to give up first-round picks to get Mack and then sign him to a lucrative extension. White just signed with Green Bay. As I’ve said from the beginning, the Packers would have had to send even more resources to Oakland than the Bears did for Mack’s services, possibly even all three of their first-rounders the next two years. Instead, Brian Gutekunst has plenty of collateral to build for the future, while competing in the present.

Joe from Las Vegas, NV

After watching several backup QBs play recently and see them win or keep the team in the game, how you would score our two backups, if needed?

What I like about DeShone Kizer is he has experience and the athleticism to move the ball in unconventional ways, a good trait for backup quarterbacks in emergency situations. Tim Boyle has everything you look for from a physical standpoint. It’s just learning the scheme and developing. They’re both promising young quarterbacks.

Paul from Farnborough, UK

I've often wondered when the QB gets sacked on a first- or second-down play, why doesn't the offense hustle back to the line of scrimmage and get the next play off while the defense is still in a collective celebration mode? Their concentration levels must be affected and you may be able to run a very effective play.

I’ve seen it happen before, especially if the defense tries to substitute.

Mike from Lyons, OH

I don't know how much Jake Ryan is still around the team with the ACL injury, but how much jawing back and forth do you think goes on between him and Corey Linsley on the weekend of arguably the biggest rivalry in college football? I have to imagine there's got to be plenty of friendly smack talk between them.

To the best of my knowledge, Ryan has been in Green Bay throughout his entire rehab. I haven’t formally asked him, but we’ve seen him around the building since August. Knowing each player’s passion for his respective school, I can only imagine what the conversations have been like this week.

Charlie from Cameron, NC

Insiders, how’d you cook your bird(s)? I brined mine and roasted it in an oven bag like I do every year. Haven’t had dry breast meat in ages! I did not expect to see an II on Thursday. Thank you for your time and energy this Thanksgiving weekend! Please pass my gratitude on to your families. Seriously.

The same well-wishes to you, Charlie. We went the traditional route with an oven-roasted turkey for Thanksgiving, but my brother-in-law and I are considering trying to fry one for Christmas this year. I hear it went well for Demovsky.

Phil from Leicester, UK

Gents, by way of helping Jamie from London, it's clear he's doing game day all wrong. There are plenty of Brits who watch every Packer game, as it happens...even those tricky prime-time encounters. Simple advice Jamie...sleep before...sleep after...don't sleep during. You're very welcome.

The same approach I’m taking with this morning’s UFC card in Beijing.

Jason from New Hampton, IA

Have you guys seen the opening scene to “BASEketball”? Who knew that Trey Parker and Matt Stone were such sports visionaries?

I can’t believe it’s taken this long for a “BASEketball” reference to make its way into Inbox, but glad it’s here. You’re right. That introduction has held up fairly well over the last 20 years.

George from Hamilton, Ontario

Let's see which one of yous has the guts to post this...

I did. But you didn’t say anything about “all of” this. And now you’re banned. Congratulations on your accomplishment.

Tom from Vista, CA

Do the Packers drive to Minnesota?

No. They fly everywhere.

Jacob from Ironwood, MI

Can I get a shout-out to my special lady? 10-year anniversary today! Nikki always has a knack for cheering me up when the game goes south, and a penchant for calling the next big play, down to the exact player at times.

I usually don’t like turning Inbox into a place for shout-outs, but you submitted on the right day. Congrats to you both on the anniversary. And kudos to Nikki for putting up with you. Enjoy the game, everyone!

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