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Inbox: There never will be anyone quite like him

As the Packers get healthier, the table is set for Aaron Rodgers and the offense Sunday

Former Packers RB Paul Hornung

Scotty from Lombard, IL

Very bad news. Paul Hornung passed away (on Friday). This is a very sad day for anybody who has anything to do with the Packers.

That it was and today's Inbox is dedicated to memory of the Golden Boy. May he rest in peace.

Eric from Stramproy, Netherlands

Hello Wes. Some 40 years ago I was introduced to the NFL and a small-town team called the Green Bay Packers. Two names I can recall I heard about first: Bart Starr and, as you might guess, Paul Hornung. Why? It only took those two players to get interested in the game of football and the Packers, and to stay interested. RIP Golden Boy.

I love Paul Hornung. He and Jerry Kramer are probably my top two favorite Lombardi-era players. Hornung is arguably the most credentialed athlete to ever play for the Packers (former first-overall pick, a Heisman Trophy winner, an NFL MVP award and four-time NFL champion). He also was a maverick who never apologized for being who he was. I interviewed Hornung only one time. It was in 2012 and will go down as one of my most memorable interviews of all time. We talked about everything from his horse, Titletown Five (who ran in the Preakness Stakes one year later), to bounty gate. No matter what the topic was, Hornung was not shy in expressing his opinion. What a legend, he was. One of a kind and there never will be anyone quite like him.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

While many will likely note Paul Hornung's running, receiving, and kicking prowess, we should not discount what an exceptional blocker he was. The famed Lombardi sweep might not be the iconic play we know it as without the Golden Boy leading the way for Jim Taylor. Arguably the most complete player in NFL history, the type we shan't see again. RIP No. 5.

After watching all the old highlights on Friday, I couldn't help but think to myself, "My goodness, this man was ahead of his time." Hornung could do it all. He wasn't a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none. He was a master-of-all-trades.

Cam from Pekin, IL

So sad to hear the news regarding the "Golden Boy's" passing. Hornung and Taylor ran the Lombardi sweep to perfection. Even when the defense knew it was coming they couldn't stop it. Paul Hornung was a main ingredient to Green Bay being known as Titletown. I know he's sitting next to Vince looking down on our Packers. RIP.

It's been a tough year for the Packers, who have lost four Hall of Fame players (Willie Wood, Willie Davis, Herb Adderley and now Hornung). As Matt LaFleur said on Friday, it's those men who made the Green Bay Packers "the Green Bay Packers."

Bruce from Green Bay, WI

Very sad to hear of the passing of Paul Hornung, the Golden Boy. I was fortunate to be able to watch him play and hear many stories of his rather colorful personality from my father and uncles that had the privilege of hanging out with him. With the Jaguars up next, who do you see on the Packers' roster to be the player who will be over-the-top dominant?

It's not exactly a Carnac the Magnificent prediction but I feel like the table is set for Aaron Rodgers to have an MVP-like performance Sunday. Davante Adams is healthy. His top two running backs are available, and he's also getting his All-Pro left tackle back. Jacksonville has eight sacks this year. If Rodgers is comfy in the pocket and plays on time, I forecast a long afternoon for the Jags.

Craig from Williamstown, Victoria, Australia

Not a question but a comment, great read on Lucas Patrick. He seems a really good fella and caring person. So glad he made the team and he and Justin have a lifetime friendship.

That's the most fun I've had writing a story this season – and any reason to talk to Justin McCray is a good reason. It was a great catching up with him with Atlanta on a bye this week. Lucas Patrick is one of the few former tryout players who have made it in the league. Despite having to scratch and claw for everything he's earned, Patrick isn't afraid to bring others with him for the ride. That provides a glimpse not only into the football player, but also the man.

Hal from Lanesboro, MN

Wes, terrific story on Lucas Patrick. Great insights into what's made him a true success story. The friendship with Justin McCray (one of my personal favorites) is the icing on the cake. Are you aware of any other non-teammate friendships that seem to be so strong?

George Kittle and Robert Tonyan were the first duo to pop into my brain. Tonyan is supposed to stand up in Kittle's wedding ceremony…whenever COVID-19 permits.

Brianna from Farmington, MN

What can we expect this Sunday?

A fast start, if recent history has been any indication. The Packers obviously want to keep that 8-for-8 streak going with scoring on their opening drive but that's especially true this week. Jacksonville has only scored 24 combined points through eight first quarters this season.

Trevor from Seattle, WA

What's the status of our defensive back end for Sunday? Asking for DJ Chark.

Chark is the guy I have my eye on more than any other Jaguars player Sunday. Because you all saw last week what can happen when he gets behind the secondary and has a free path to the end zone. Jaire Alexander returned to practice Friday but remains doubtful. The real question is could Kevin King (quad/questionable) make it back on Sunday? Josh Jackson and Ka'dar Hollman have stepped up but the defense is different with King on the field.

Brian from Sussex, WI

I always feel better when players with concussions get out of the protocol fast. It's not so they can play, but because it means they are better. I feel if they get through the protocol faster the concussion wasn't as bad. Hoping Alexander clears soon. BTW, my favorite comment of the week was Spoff's about Wes bringing him lunch.

It was good to see Alexander back at practice Friday. Whether or not he plays Sunday, hopefully Alexander responds well to the limited work and takes another step towards passing the protocol tomorrow and the day after.

Jake from Oswego, IL

Recently Davante Adams addressed a question about him being the best receiver in the game right now. I loved his response. It showed confidence in his ability without coming across like he had a big ego. However, recently I have been discussing his greatness with friends who are not Packer fans. They say that while he is good, he is only getting the numbers that he is getting because of Aaron Rodgers. What would you say in response to that?

Did Adams catch the passes? Did he score the touchdowns? Is he a nightmare to cover? Davante Adams' star power is real…and it's spectacular.

Linda from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Do you think Allen Lazard will be activated for Sunday's game?

LaFleur said both Lazard and Christian Kirksey will be "game-time decisions" on Sunday. That being said, in order to be active, both players would need to be designated to return off injured reserve today. Otherwise, they still have one more week before both must be re-added to the 53.

Kathleen from Fond du Lac, WI

No question, just a couple observations. Both of you continue to enlighten, amuse, soothe, and occasionally stir up emotions with this Inbox feature on nearly a daily basis during this hellish year...thank you guys so much! Now, having been a Packer Backer for almost 60 years, I did want to respectfully disagree with Wes's statement on Nov. 12 that "Rodgers' interception numbers will be on par with Favre's ironman streak." Not only apples to oranges, but also stats vs. guts, no comparison!

I wasn't meaning to compare the two. All I was attempting to say was I don't see either mark falling anytime soon.

Colter from Sarasota, FL

Hello, hope you are well. I read Krys Barnes was signed to a three-year contract as an undrafted free agent. Is this unusual? Also, what is your impression as to why he was undrafted? I am sorry if you have answered this question before and I missed it.

It's not unusual. Most undrafted free agents sign non-guaranteed, three-year contracts. Even if the players only signs a one-year deal, he remains under control of the team holding his rights until he has three accrued NFL seasons. I'm not sure everything that went into Barnes going undrafted but the NFL's loss has been the Packers' gain.

Matt from Griffith, IN

Tough news for John Lovett...I know he was not a feature on offense but he was shining on special teams. It seemed like he was always near the action on returns and was a surehanded tackler. Anybody we should watch out for to take his place on ST?

It's a shame. Not only had Lovett settled into that "fullback" role Josiah Deguara vacated due to injury, he also had become quite the powerhouse on the Packers' coverage units. Lovett was tied with Oren Burks with a team-high four coverage tackles, despite playing 56 fewer snaps.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Could it be said that like Marcedes Lewis "when he talks people listen"?

I know I do.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Wes, I think this might be a big week for the TE group. All attention going to Adams and Aaron Jones and the big boys get it done!

Rodgers doesn't force the ball to tight ends…but you gotta think he wants to get "Big Dog" a touchdown on Sunday.

Jim from Tucson, AZ

A lot of doom and gloom about being able to sign our year-end free agents. The cap is down, we won't have the money – the world is coming to an end. Excuse me but won't the other teams have the same problem?


Arthur from Altoona, WI

Which official on the field watches the play clock as it runs down? Also, which player on the field and who on the sideline has that responsibility?

Field judge.

Bob from Cortez, CO

How many people are involved in the logistics of travel for 53 active players? Also, are the chartered planes specialized for team travel or do the players have to jam themselves into the same planes the rest of us have to deal with?

I'm not familiar with all the ins-and-outs, but all I have to say is Matt Klein is a wizard. And the Packers travel on a standard commercial plane, not private jet or anything.

Bill from Iowa City, IA

Final score in one of yesterday's Iowa state FB semifinals: St Mary's Remsen 108, Montezuma 94. Losing QB passed for 689 yards. Winning team had 599 yards rushing. Who says you don't need a ground game?

Or a defense.

The Green Bay Packers practiced on Ray Nitschke Field on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020.

Sreedharan from Pewaukee, WI

Wes, have the tables turned? Spoff sorta alluded to it in his first II response that you have his lunch. Or did he mean that you're bringing your lunch, which he will then proceed to make his lunch?

Ma Hod only packed one lunch. I'll let you connect the dots.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

On two occasions I have tried to get the "Prince of Platteville " listed on the Platteville Wikipedia page as a famous resident, with no luck. Maybe it will just take somebody a little more tech savvy than me. That is an official shout out to II to make this happen!

It's outrageous, egregious, preposterous. Hey Wikipedia, give "The Prince of Platteville" his rightful throne!

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words." – Robert Frost

"6 out of 8 times, it works every time" – Derek from Eau Claire

C'mon Dean! Let's hear it, buddy!

Drumroll, please.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Victory is never given, beware all foes

A weakened defeated enemy approaches

Beware men of the Bay

Victory is never given

It must be earned on the field of battle

Time to rise up and defend your ground

Quote the Dean, never more.

Jeff from Tucson, AZ

Is this year ever going to end?

I'd say give it another 48 days or so. Enjoy the game, everybody.