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Inbox: It's last call before playing for it all

Sunday could be a great opportunity for second-year QB Jordan Love

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QB Aaron Rodgers

Joe from Swansea, IL

If David Bakhtiari gets to play some on Sunday, would you expect him to be in the game when Aaron Rodgers is playing? In other words, does he get playing time with the ones, or would it come later in the game? Either way, it will be interesting to track the comings and goings during the game; I know the blog will be the best source for that info – so thanks in advance for that.

If Bakhtiari plays, I think he starts. Your guess is as good as mine as far as how many snaps the coaches and trainers would want him to play, but I can't imagine he'd be jumping in the game in the middle of the third quarter.

Kyle from Osceola, WI

Wow. With Bakhtiari and Josh Myers both anticipated to come back, this "meaningless" Week 18 game suddenly offers us some intrigue, eh?

LaFleur mentioning that Myers likely would play got my attention on Friday afternoon. I wasn't expecting that. It does make sense, though. This is the perfect tune-up for those guys coming back off injuries. I'm just curious what the O-line will look like with Myers back.

Brian from San Francisco, CA

What kind of play-calling might we expect on Sunday? Do you think the Packers might keep things more vanilla so there's less on tape for teams to study preparing for the playoffs? Thanks!

It's Week 18, so the tape is out there. It's just a matter of what the Packers put in the game plan this week and going into the playoffs. I expect the calls to be as creative as any other NFL regular-season Sunday. I expect the Packers to play their brand of football for 60 minutes on Sunday. It's last call before playing for it all.

Tim from Cameron, WI

I can see giving some offensive starters playing time on Sunday given that side of the ball requires more precision and timing, but can you give us any valid reason for many defensive starters to play Sunday?

As Kenny Clark said on Wednesday, it allows defenders to stay in their usual routine and keep their conditioning up. Like I said with Bakhtiari, it also could be helpful for a returning player (off COVID and/or IR) to get some work against the Lions. We'll just have to see what happens.

Lindsey from Minneapolis, MN

Lots of records being broken as of late. If Davante Adams breaks Jordy Nelson's receiving record on Sunday, how are those separated since he didn't actually break it in a 16-game season as Jordy once did?

I see it as one in the same. Like it or not, it's a 17-game season now and single-season records will soon reflect that leaguewide. I still think everything balances out due to Adams missing a game due to COVID-19 and the fact he likely won't play the entire game Sunday. Either way, he's earned that record.

Bob from Bella Vista, AR

What a great line out of Adams: "If you're scared, go to church." Fitting for these days of panic-demic, not just sports. HIs words are as fitting as "we have nothing to fear but fear itself."

Between his postgame interview Sunday and usual Wednesday media session, there was gold strewn throughout the nearly 40 minutes Adams spoke to the media this week. The line I tweeted from him about his advice for young receivers absolutely blew up on social media, too. Adams is such a well-spoken guy…some would even refer to him as a stand-up guy.

Bil from Wilmington, DE

Wes, I know you are as big a fan of Big Bob Tonyan as I am. Have you had any contact with him? How is his injury coming along?

I haven't talked with Robert Tonyan but it sounds like his rehab is going well. We've also seen him driving his scooter around practice the past few weeks. He seems to be in good spirits.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Wes. In the world of hypotheticals, if the Packers are down by eight to the Lions but score a touchdown on the last play of regulation time, would you go for two points to send the game into overtime possibly risking further injuries? Thanks.

I went almost six years without quoting Herm Edwards and you have cleared the way for me to say this twice in one week: "You play to win the game! Hello!?" But heck yeah, you go for two. It'll probably be Jordan Love in the game, anyway. That's as real of a two-minute situation as the young QB has faced. This could be a great opportunity for Love after all the first-team reps he's banked in practice over the past two months.

Michael from Morrison, IL

Mike/Wes, which would you prefer: Ending the regular season in Detroit (again) or Thanksgiving in Detroit?

Two years ago, back when we were traveling, I'd absolutely say ending the regular season in Detroit over Thanksgiving. But in the age of Zoom, I'd honestly prefer the Packers play the Lions on Thanksgiving. Spoff and I still have to work the holiday regardless. At least, that game would have meaning.

Joshua from Pittsburgh, PA

"With that being said..." I'm still golf-clapping that mic drop, Wes, three hours after reading the Inbox. Aaannnyyywayyyy, I know we always play every game to win, but in a game with no playoff, draft, or seeding implications, do you anticipate a game plan that focuses on plays that can reasonably be expected to reduce player risk of injury?

Of course, but the Packers aren't going in there with kid gloves and cloaked in bubble wrap. They're going to go out there to play a football game. The goal is to be sore after Sunday, not injured.

Eric from Oshkosh, WI

I get the decision to play the starters some on Sunday, but my question is: Is taking up 5-10 roster spots for guys who aren't going to play much worth it? This isn't preseason with huge roster numbers. Once the starters come out, won't there be a shortage of available players to finish the game? (On the other hand, if it's possible to get injured guys such as Bakhtiari, Alexander, Myers, etc. some playing time before we hit a one-and-done playoff game, I sure would feel better about it.)

I'm guessing that number will be closer to five than it is 10 but we'll see. As LaFleur said on Friday, the Packers only can suit up 48 guys. So, a majority of the players who dress will play most of the game. While I don't expect Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams or someone as valuable as Kenny Clark to play a lot, Green Bay still should have more than enough available players to get through the game. Plus, I could see the team erring on the side of caution with Aaron Jones and De'Vondre Campbell, two players dealing with injuries. I'm not too concerned about it.

Robert from Scottsdale, AZ

Since the II seems open to EOY award discussions, I believe if Cooper Kupp gets the receiving triple crown, he will be the MVP. There are probably other voters who are not stupid enough to voice their dislike of AR, but when given someone who does something like Kupp, they will take that option.

It would be unprecedented. No receiver has ever won the AP NFL MVP Award.

Steve from Land O' Lakes, FL

I'm showing my age here, but my favorite backfield duo was Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor. That was probably skewed by my youthful love of the Packers.

I'm pretty sure Spoff was referring to backfield duos in his lifetime, not of all-time. That's how I took it. But you're right. Hornung and Taylor weren't just a duo. They were the duo.

Joe from River Falls, WI

II, I know all the defense deserves credit, but...Kenny Clark getting double-teamed by two 300-plus pound lineman and STILL making the play at the line of scrimmage! I'm trying to convince my son that watching him play is seeing something truly special. Do you recall any other Packers nose tackles with that kind of interior presence? Maybe Gilbert Brown?

Not any that can pass rush like Kenny, too. Maybe the Lombardi era fans can point me to someone but Clark is the best the Packers have had in my lifetime as it relates to stopping the run as a one-technique nose tackle on first down and pressuring the quarterback on third. He's also just four sacks away from tying Mike Daniels' team record of 29 for defensive tackles.

Daniel from Richmond, VA

I can't be the only one who reads the Inbox weekly poems in the voice of the old NFL Films narrator, can I?

Now, I can't get that out of my head.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

A dress rehearsal,

Staying ready and healthy,

records poised to fall.

Arrive. Break records. Leave healthy.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

BOOM!

The treasured bye secured

The path to SoFi Stadium remains straight ahead and goes through the frozen tundra

But first a trip to Detroit to engage a familiar foe

A desperate foe looking to sow the field of doubt

Stay the course, stay healthy and leave no doubt Green and Gold

BOOM!

And pick up that 14th win Dean was writing about all season. Enjoy the game everybody!

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