Dom from Bordeaux, France
I would not want to be in your shoes...
This is where a scholar or academic would pull up a fancy 50-year-old quote to express how they feel. Instead, I'll quote Preston Smith from Thursday: "(I) woke up today. That's always a blessing." I'm happy to be here with you all on this fine Saturday morning. Let's get to it.
Lloyd from Rancho Cordova, CA
How sick is Aaron Rodgers now that he has the COVID-19? Hospital? How soon do they retest?
Rodgers said he's feeling better during his appearance Friday on the Pat McAfee Show. I know a lot of folks who have been wrecked by this virus, so it was good to see both Rodgers and Davante Adams are doing well.
Todd from Long Island, NY
II, I keep reading "We'll have to wait and hear what Aaron has to say." I hate to burst the bubble, but he doesn't have to say anything. Under HIPPA law enacted in 1996, he does not have to divulge medical information and surrender his right to confidentiality. We are all protected from having to do that. HIPPA is why the NFL/NFLPA agreed to only list players' roster status on COVID tests. If he says nothing, he won't be a "liar," "untruthful" or any of the monikers the pundits will throw at him.
We weren't saying Rodgers had to speak, only that he likely would at some point. Because he always has, and he did Friday during his 46-minute conversation with McAfee and A.J. Hawk. To that point, there were a lot of submissions regarding Rodgers' appearance, with very strong reactions on both sides of the argument. In the interest of keeping this column (and its comment section) civil and constructive, I'm going to leave it at that for now. But you all are welcome to watch Pat's show and hear Rodgers in his own words.
Brian from Hackensack, NJ
I, for one, appreciate the lenses Mike and Wes see through. You guys see and translate the whole prism. Or…your lenses are multichromatic if you're not into the whole brevity thing.
I appreciate the frustrating and emotionally charged times we are living in. COVID has cost many of us our jobs, our favorite activities and unfortunately, in some cases, those we love and cherish. I, personally, have struggled mightily at times finding my grounding since March 2020. You guys have even read about it a time or two in this column. My guiding light often times has been empathy, a virtue my parents instilled in me at an early age. Listen, I am neither smart nor cunning enough to tell you how to properly deescalate a situation, but I know screaming at each other won't accomplish it. And I promise that you will not find inner peace bickering at somebody on social media. I pray for grace every night and settle for humility, and I lean on that during a challenging week such as this.
Laurie from Sheboygan, WI
It seems as if each of our wins has featured a different "hero," sometimes an expected one, sometimes a relatively unknown one. Who – other than Love – do you think has the potential to be the unexpected hero of the KC game?
It's Aaron Jones. I don't want to spoil "Final Thoughts" but Spoff made a salient point on how impactful Jones was two years ago when the Packers marched into Arrowhead without Davante Adams (226 total yards and two touchdowns on 20 touches). They need another big game out of him without Rodgers on Sunday. He's done it before, he can do it again.
John from Topeka, KS
COVID? Love? Long snapper? Return man? Adrian Peterson coming back out of retirement. Just beat the (next) football team.
It's really been a week for the ages, hasn't it?
Daniel from Elizabethtown, KY
Well, we got enough distraction going on. How will the team respond? How will the coaches focus the team?
By focusing on the tough, hungry opponent that's in front of them. The Packers have their hands full on Sunday. That's where their attention needs to be.
David from Sheridan, WY
The best part about the game on Sunday is the Packers are the underdogs! The pressure is on the Chiefs to win, similar to last week. The Packers can go play loose and gun for the upset.
That would be my final message to Love as he takes the field on Sunday. KC is the team sitting at 4-4 in a must-win situation. The pressure is on the Chiefs playing at home against a Packers team without its MVP quarterback. All Love has to do is play free and disciplined; the rest will take care of itself.
Aaron from Miami, FL
Hey guys, as disappointed as I was with everything that happened this week, I must say I'm excited for Sunday. Jordan Love has a chance to experience a "Mom's Spaghetti" moment. Let's hope he's dropping bombs this weekend!
It's a big weekend for the entire Love family. His mother, Anna, has attended all his games (other than the COVID year, obviously) dating back to his redshirt freshman year at Utah State. She'll be in the stands at Arrowhead on Sunday for her son's first NFL start.
II, I'm a big JL fan, but who is his backup?
Haven't you heard? The B.O.A.T. landed in Green Bay Thursday.
Danny from Jacksonville, FL
Hod, put me some knowledge. With Blake Bortles on the practice squad, I assume the Packers will elevate him to the 53 by gameday so he can suit up as QB2, right? What are the reasons for waiting?
With all due respect to Bortles, he was playing golf when the Packers called him earlier this week. So, there really isn't much danger putting him on the practice squad and elevating him this weekend. Instead, the Packers used Rodgers' roster spot to promote RB3 Patrick Taylor from the practice squad, and then activated Davante Adams, while saving the other spots to potentially activate David Bakhtiari or Marquez Valdes-Scantling, if medically cleared.
Michael from Winfield, IL
With Love starting, I think everybody is expecting GB to start with runs and/or dink-and-dunk passing to get him acclimated and confident. With Adams, Lazard, and possibly MVS back for the game, what about taking a shot on the first play of the game? They could disguise it by keeping Jones back in protection and then swinging him out as an outlet screen, if necessary.
I wouldn't be a fan of it. Sure, the Packers could catch KC off-guard, but if I'm calling plays, I want to get Jones and Dillon into an early rhythm on the ground. Matt LaFleur wanted those two backs to combine for 30-plus carries against Arizona and honestly, I think that should be the same plan against the Chiefs. Jones and AJ Dillon should be Love's two best friends on Sunday.
Kathie from Grand Forks, ND
To answer TC from Waunakee's question about why the change in long snapper. Remember how after the Cincinnati game, ML said that all those missed kicks weren't entirely Mason Crosby's fault, but that he wasn't going to throw anyone under the bus? I think that's related to how McCarthy loudly and publicly defended Ty Montgomery after his last game with the Packers and traded him two days later. It just took ML a little longer. Good coaches don't badmouth, they make changes.
Maurice Drayton had a great response when asked about his comment earlier this offseason about his special teams room being "the truth room." It is the truth room…but that room is not the media auditorium. The best ones coach behind closed doors and build in front of the podium. In the end, the Packers felt a change was needed and now will get an extended look at Steven Wirtel.
James from Asheville, NC
The midseason switch at long snapper gets me wondering. At what point did teams begin using a roster spot just for the position? I recall the starting center (or an occasional backup) filling that role. Rob Davis (1998) seems to be the first long snapper I see listed as such.
You obviously haven't heard Bill Belichick's 10-minute response on long snappers earlier this season.
Kerri from Milton, GA
With Robert Tonyan out for the season, how will the Packers' offense change?
We will find out Sunday. The Packers know they'll have Davante Adams and Allen Lazard back. They could have Marquez Valdes-Scantling, as well. If the full receiving corps and backfield are available, the Packers could lean towards more "11" and "21" personnel. At the same time, they still have enough tight ends to run their two-TE packages. Nothing is off the table.
Claire from Milwaukie, OR
Hello. I am a longtime reader, but first-time questioner. Actually, I would like to add an answer to the question of the best Packers backup QB not mentioned in the Friday II. Why was there no mention of Matt Hasselbeck? Thanks for the great columns and II you gentlemen write!
Thanks for reading, Claire. I think the list was geared more towards the backup quarterbacks who started games in Green Bay. Hypothetically, though, Hasselbeck could have ably stepped in for Favre had he ever missed time.
John from Milwaukee, WI
Just to follow up, Lynn Dickey could be great at times but was injured so often that David Whitehurst would have to be considered a crucial backup and often had to step in.
Man, this backup thing really hit close to home for y'all, huh?
Xavier from Pueblo of Acoma, NM
How excited are you for this one? For me, personally, I'm PUMPED it is gonna be a Mountain West showcase is what I keep telling everyone! Adams (Fresno), Jones (UTEP), Love (Utah State), and last but not least Corey Bojorquez(UNM). So, let's see how Sunday goes.
Thank you for including Bojorquez. Punters are people, too.
Michael from Los Angeles, CA
I'm sure this is a popular question, but do you think OBJ is a good fit for this team? I have conflicting opinions. You can never have too many weapons (unless you're the type of player whose sense of self-worth demands you're the only weapon); however, I'm rather tired of loud players who throw public tantrums midseason. How much consideration is given when a player can make an immediate impact, but also risks becoming a distraction?
I'm not even going to go there, people. If you guys saw Adam Schefter's tweet, the team that claims Odell Beckham Jr. would need at least $7.25 million in cap space. If OBJ clears waivers, maybe we can open this can of asparagus. Until then, I'm pleading the fifth.
Izzi from Raleigh, NC
It's weird how so many backup QBs have shined this year, even a few who had little-to-no experience. Cooper Rush. Mike White. Josh Johnson. Trevor Siemian. Geno Smith. How do you explain that? Regardless, it gives me hope for Sunday.
While the outcome of the game wasn't really in doubt, I still had a massive smile on my face seeing Johnson throwing darts on Thursday night. It's crazy how well so many backup QBs have played this year. Geno Smith, in particular, has taken me by surprise. That's a credit to their preparation and their coaching staffs' adaptability.
Bob from Bella Vista, AR
The NBA revealed their "throwback" sort of jerseys recently. Perhaps they need to really do throwbacks like the NFL. What do you think?
Well, the NBA also isn't 100 years old. I can't speak for the other 29 teams but I loved the Bucks' unis.
Nate from New Lisbon, WI
Wes, I know you can't post this since it's just a video link, but I found your arch nemesis.
That is not my arch nemesis. That is my hero. What a wholesome video. I just hope that young man started it while the team was on defense.
Avida from Vienna, VA
No pregame poem from me. But can I request the Insiders post a PSA (Packers Service Announcement). Regardless of any disappointment in not being able to see Rodgers on the field on Sunday, we need Packers fans to show up and represent in KC. I'd hate to see fans elect not to go to the game because Love will be at QB. True Packers fans will make their way to KC regardless to make their presence known and heard. We need our Green and Gold contingent in KC on Sunday! Thank you.
That's as volatile a road environment as there is in the NFL. The Packers will need all the help they can get. If you do go, be sure to check out the Packers Everywhere pep rally the night before, as well.
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
A sneak peek, no one wanted,
All must do THEIR job.
Say something philosophical, Dean. I need it now more than ever.
Dean from Leavenworth, IN
A dramatic victory in Arizona as new heroes emerge
Two more were lost to traumatic injury and two more fall prey to the unseen enemy
Now a trip to Kansas City and the AFC champion Chiefs
They will look to vindicate their championship worthiness against the Green and Gold
While some Packers were lost others return and opportunity is at hand
A chance to seize that opportunity and show all as you unite as one
Rise Packers the time has come
This has been one of the longest weeks of my 10 years on the Packers beat, but as the dust begins to settle, I have to say I'm genuinely excited for the game Sunday. We've slipped a lot of ink on Love over the past two years. Now, we finally get to see what he can do. Enjoy the game everyone.