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Inbox: The journey continues

It’s going to be a magnificent clash of styles on Sunday

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CB Jaire Alexander

Jerry from Green Valley, AZ

Status of Davante Adams?

Good to go…and we're officially off and running.

Jeff from Eau Claire, WI

Any comments on the upcoming game?

I'm ready for it. Since I wasn't really able to do anything during the bye week, it feels like it's been a month since the Packers played against Atlanta. The 12-week gauntlet starts now.

Rob from Louisville, CO

Wes, can you give us any details on how Robert Tonyan made the switch from QB to WR? I mean, what made anyone think to ask if their QB could run routes and catch the football in traffic?

He was fast and had large hands. Mike Sanford told the AP last week a lot had to do with the coaching staff feeling like that position gave Tonyan the best chance to play at the next level.

Carroll from Madison, WI

Wes, you struck gold (again) with the Tonyan piece. What a young man! What a family! Oh, and "a chance to be great" according to his buddy George Kittle. But it was this quotation that'll stick: "I truly believe I have the best mom just for the sole fact that she over-cares the right amount." Let's all make sure we "over-care the right amount" for someone in our lives. GPG.

Thank you, Carroll, and a shout-out to all the moms, dads and guardians who over-care the right amount. It's that love and passion that brings out the best in children. As Tonyan said, the bond he shares with his mom and dad is what motivates him to give it everything he's got.

Mark from Monrovia, CA

Good morning gentlemen, I loved the piece on Robert Tonyan. What a trip you took us on. It reminds me of my mom and dad. My dad was a four-sport coach at our local high school. His passion was basketball and I will never forget his favorite saying, to be a champion you need the three Ds: defense, discipline and desire (and a really good offense doesn't hurt). This year's team seems to have it. Thanks again for all you guys do for us.

It's going to take all three principles for the Packers to come out victorious on Sunday. And God bless your father for coaching four sports. I cannot imagine.

Tom from Bamberg, Germany

Mike, in your reply to Jim from Burlington, KY, you said, "Aside from the above, it needs to limit big plays by Mike Evans and get at least one turnover." I agree wholeheartedly but would postulate another possibility: Get two or three three-and-outs consecutively. While it would be great, we don't have to get a turnover. If the D dominates the late third and fourth quarters, we should be able to win this going away. GO PACK GO! And please continue the wonderful work!

Is a takeaway required to win Sunday? Not necessarily but it would help the cause.

Dana from Eau Claire, WI

Tom Brady rarely has lost two games in a row. What part of the game do the Packers need to definitively win to come out on top?

The trenches, on both sides of the ball.

Steve from Middletown, KY

This would be a great game to get an interception. If it is a pick-six, this defense would really get fired up. Since Tom Brady is so good at throwing guys open, I think one of the safeties probably gets the job done. Who do you think is most likely to make that play?

The safeties are a good bet, but Jaire Alexander is due to take one to the house one of these weeks. That's all that's missing on his resume, so he's my pick (no pun intended).

James from Appleton, WI

I predict that Sunday is the day Rashan Gary becomes a Smith Brother.

We'll have to see how that ankle is doing, but Gary was on a tear before that flared up at the end of the Saints game.

Derek from Norton, KS

The Buccaneers have three tight ends who could start for a number of NFL teams. Who do you see being the most difficult matchup for the Packers' defense?

The tight end I have my eye on the most is Rob Gronkowski. He's off to a slow start by his standards (12 catches for 140 yards) but still scares the living daylights out of me. The Packers will need to keep their antennas up in the middle of the field on Sunday.

Justin from Coventry, UK

Just read the piece on the contribution of undrafted players which got me thinking: What elements of the current practice-squad and IR system might we expect to see going into future years? To my untrained eye, all the changes seem to be win/win/win for the players/owners/fans. Do you think they could be seen to give teams (like the Packers) with a stronger pipeline of underrated guys an "unfair" advantage?

I don't see it as an unfair advantage and hope the league keeps it as is next year. I love everything about the changes the NFL and NFLPA made to the practice-squad rules. There's no reason veteran players should be penalized for time spent on an active roster. The veteran exemption is a great way to keep players employed and in NFL playbooks before getting recalled to 53-man rosters. Just look what it's done for a guy like Billy Winn.

Miranda from Rochester, NY

Do you see Malik Taylor getting more snaps anytime soon or will it be less with Equanimeous St. Brown back? From the very limited time I've seen him with the ball in his hands, it would seem like he's got that quickness for a slot man we haven't had since Randall Cobb's departure.

Equanimeous St. Brown is still on injured reserve at the time I'm writing this, but Davante Adams is on his way back. Taylor has a lot of ability but his focus right now is special teams – no different than the role Allen Lazard played before getting his big break last year.

Jim from McLean, VA

How would you rank the Bucs' defense compared to the four the Packers have faced thus far?

It's the best one Green Bay has faced, though that works both ways. The Packers' offense, and running game, is the best Tampa Bay has seen so far this season. The Buccaneers have a talented, young secondary and can get pressure with four rushers. It's going to be a magnificent clash of styles.

Michael from Tequesta, FL

Thanks for taking our questions. Tyler Ervin has been out all week and will miss the game. Was there any insight as to what (or when) happened to his wrist? Sure will miss his explosiveness and confidence on punt returns.

Ervin popped up on the injury report with the wrist issue the Saturday before the Falcons game. He played but obviously it's something that's still bothering him.

Linda from Lakewood Ranch, FL

With all the rescheduling happening, isn't it inevitable that a Packers game will be affected at some point?

One day at a time. One practice at a time. One game at a time. That's as far as I'm looking into the future right now.

Travis from Caledonia, WI

Good morning. Is there a rule regarding what kinds of jewelry players can wear while playing? I noticed many wear earrings and gold chains around their necks, but very few wear things like wedding bands (obviously football is a "handsy" sport so it's understandable). I'd hate to have an earring or nose ring ripped out, or even a chain broken, if I was playing. Know of anyone you think that wears too much? Thanks for all you guys do to keep fans integrated!

I'm not aware of any rules prohibiting jewelry, but players need to remember they can be tackled by it. Letroy Guion used to play with a massive gold chain, but he kept it taped under his jersey.

Adam from Phoenix, AZ

Since the Inbox has posted mostly negative reaction to the expanded playoff format, let me offer my contrary opinion, which I gained from the old days with Vic. He said he was all for expanding the playoffs because it meant more good football at the end of the year, when teams were playing their best. Last year, if there were seven teams, we would have welcomed the Bears and Steelers into the fold, and both teams were playing very well at the end of last year, if memory serves.

I respect that viewpoint and won't even say it's wrong. I just feel like the NFL's regular season is the only one in pro U.S. sports that still matters. It means something to make the NFL playoffs. I don't know if you can say that in NBA, NHL and now even MLB. I don't want to compromise that for a few more TV dollars. But I get it, I'm the laggard in this situation.

James from Murfreesboro, TN

Do you think the Packers will have fans in the stands this year?

There were a record 3,861 new COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin Friday. At some point, that number has to come down for fans to come back.

Jack from Black Mountain, NC

Has there ever been an NFL game in which the two starting quarterbacks had more combined passing yardage and touchdowns than Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady?

Yeah. It happened as recently as last month.

William from Palmdale, CA

Probably too late to get this considered for posting, but do you think the refs will watch Ndamukong Suh closely to see if he tries to abuse Mr. Rodgers again like he's done twice before? Surely you can't disqualify a player for actions he's taken before, but I'd hope the officiating crew has a conversation with both the TB coaching staff and Suh himself to say they won't tolerate any play that is unsportsmanlike and he's on a short leash so to speak. Disappointed he's even allowed to play anymore.

Suh has a history against the Packers but he's played by the rules this year. He only has two neutral zone infractions through five games, so I don't expect the officials to isolate on him or anything on Sunday.

Greg from Denver, CO

Hello II. Why do you insist on answering irrelevant questions? Unless African swallows have become migratory, there is no way any coconut-bearing swallows could be anywhere near laser goal posts. NFL games are only played in North America and Europe.

You wanna hurt me? Go right ahead, if it makes you feel any better. I'm an easy target. Yeah, you're right. I talk too much about coconut-bearing swallows. I also listen too much about other matters. I can be a cold-hearted cynic like you, but I don't like to hurt people's feelings. You think what you want about him. I'm not changing. I like me. My wife likes me. (Most of) my readers like me. Because I'm the real article. What you see is what you get.

Steve from Wabasha, MN

I've always thought it was chomping at the bit, but it sounded like Wes said champing. Which is it or is it regional?

It's champing. It's an old horseracing analogy.

Lucille from Weston, WI

Mike and Wes, you two are the greatest. Enjoyed reading the articles about Nelson Toburen and Robert Tonyan. Hope you can write more of these to keep us informed. Keep up the good work. Love the Inbox news.

As wonderful as that is of you to say, Lucille, it was your hometown that guaranteed this comment was posted.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

A battle of GOATS,
With heat from sun and pressure,
Survive and advance.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

The endless journey continues
From the cold green waters of the Bay our warriors travel south to the warm waters of a vast sea
Healed and reinforcements added they battle a legend a Goat with great powers who seeks to defend his castle
Rise to the challenge brave men
The journey continues

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