Here are all of the answers to this week’s questions in the latest edition of Packers Mailbag:
Q: Wouldn’t this be an excellent time to bring Farve back to win the games during Rodgers’ injury and then retire his number “4” after this season? — Schmies, Minnesota
Q: Is Brett Favre available until Rodgers gets back? — Roger, VA Beach
Q: Maybe you should be humble and ask Favre to come and play the remaining games. Let him go out as a true Packer. — Jake, Oconto
A: Well, Jake, it’s not up to me to ask Brett Favre to come back. And yes, Roger, Favre is technically available. However, Favre is 44 years old and nearly three years removed from playing in the NFL. While it would have been perhaps the biggest sports story ever if Favre returned this season to play for the Packers this season, it’s not going to happen.
Q: Will it be Brett Favre, Matt Flynn, or Vince Young to replace Rodgers for three weeks? — Milteacher, Clarksville, TN
Q: if rodgers is out, bring in flynn. i would also like to think favre could help also. — watcher6342, Nahunta, Georgia
Q: I’ve been a Packer fan since the very first Super Bowl. Is it possible for Ted Thompson to get Matt Flynn back? Seems to me that he would fit into the offense very well as in the past and knows the offense. — Gordon Murphy, Ovando, Montana
Q: Why have the Pack not signed Matt Flynn? — Michael Tyler, Roscoe, IL
A: The Packers could have gone with Option A) Brett Favre, B) Matt Flynn or C) Vince Young, but Ted Thompson went with Option D) Bump up No. 2 QB Seneca Wallace to the starting job and promote Scott Tolzien from the practice squad to be his backup.
Flynn cleared waivers this week and is officially a free agent. He could be signed for the veteran’s minimum salary. However, there are concerns league-wide about Flynn’s arm strength due to an injury he suffered.
Though many Packers fans remember Flynn for his record-setting performance in Week 17 of the 2011 season, since then, he’s been let go by three teams. In 2012, he couldn’t win the starting job in Seattle that he was paid a guaranteed $10 million to take over. This season, he couldn’t beat out Terrelle Pryor in Oakland and was released. And most recently, the Buffalo Bills let him go after a short experiment despite their quarterback issues.
A Flynn reunion could happen with Green Bay in the future, but for now, the Packers are going with Wallace and Tolzien while Rodgers is out.
Q: Thompson/McCarthy really didn’t think this day would come? They have been dancing w/the devil since they got rid of Matt Flynn…what fan hasn’t thought about this possibility but someway, somehow…w/all that time they couldn’t develop someone better than Seneca Wallace? It should have been the highest priority and now…call Brett. This one’s on McCarthy…oh and one more thing…what would have happened if Wallace went down last night? Micah Hyde?…didn’t need to happen like this.. — Bill Gailbreath, Madison, WI
A: I agree that the Packers weren’t well-prepared in the event that Aaron Rodgers got hurt. Wallace’s veteran experience was a benefit to Rodgers as his backup, but now as the starter at age 33, he’s not the type of quarterback who can get Green Bay a lot of wins in the meantime.
The Packers have showed signs of confidence in Tolzien to be their No. 2 quarterback of the future, but I imagine that Thompson will have learned his lesson with this Rodgers injury and will draft a quarterback in 2014.
And if Wallace had gotten injured against the Bears, it likely would have been Jordy Nelson at quarterback. Had Randall Cobb been healthy, it would have been him. But with Cobb on injured reserve (with designation to return), it would have been Nelson behind center.
Q: In last nights game, did I see Lacy and Starks do the Badger touchdown dance? — David Bohlmann
A: Indeed you did! Melvin Gordon and James White both acknowledged on Twitter that they saw it, too. I thought it was pretty cool that the NFL team in Wisconsin mimicked the top college team in the state like that.
Q: Will it be smart for the Packers to really understand the risks of Aaron coming back too early and allow him to rest for the year based on overall teams injuries and teams record when available? — Anthony Domanico, Temecula, CA
A: The Packers won’t rush Rodgers back. He’s too important to the franchise long-term and is making way too much money to have his health jeopardized. But Rodgers will almost certainly play again this season. Now, if he misses five games and Green Bay goes 0-5 in that span — which is highly unlikely, but it would hypothetically put them at a 5-8 record, then maybe the Packers rest him if the postseason is mathematically impossible at that point. But because Green Bay has a fairly easy schedule in the coming month (their next three opponents have a combined record of 7-18), I think the Packers can at least stay afloat until Rodgers returns. But they’ll have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time when he is back.
Q: How long do we keep Capers? His Defense is not improving and we have a ton of GREAT talent on that side of the ball. Watching a 9 minute drive makes this clear – when the defense had to step up and win a game against a back up quarterback; they couldn’t. — Tom K, La Crosse, WI
Q: What is wrong with the Defensive backfield? Playing way off everyone then can’t tackle! Williams hasn’t had a pick in 22 games. — Harry, Ripon
A: Tom, I disagree with part of the premise of your question. The Packers’ defense is ranked fifth in the NFL in stopping the run and is 12th in sacks. There are negatives, such as being ranked 20th against the pass and tied for last in interceptions, so Capers’ group has not been flawless by any means. Plus, you’re right, that Bears fourth-quarter drive was a rough one for Capers’ defense. But think about the statement that Green Bay has “GREAT” talent on defense. Perhaps when healthy some might consider that to be great talent, but the Packers have gone extended time this season without Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Brad Jones Casey Hayward and Morgan Burnett. That’s a ton of major players on the sideline to still expect the defense to perform at a high level without them.
Forcing turnovers has been a significant issue for this defense, and if it doesn’t get corrected soon, the Packers are not long for a playoff run. And certainly in the game against the Bears, yes, Green Bay’s tackling was a significant issue and there’s no excuse for it. But I just don’t understand the idea that Capers should be gotten rid of. Let’s see how this defense looks when it’s healthy, because that hasn’t happened this season and yet multiple aspects of that group have still been quite good in the grand scheme of it.
Q: With Jamari Lattimore making 2 big plays against the Bears (blocked punt and onside recovery) do you think there is any way Brad Jones keeps his starting job? Lattimore has been making plays the last few weeks and seems to be coming into his own. — Dan K, Madison
A: What a season for Lattimore. A third-string player who was undrafted in 2011 pressed into a starting role on defense and playing very well. Then, as you pointed out, Dan, he made two terrific special teams plays against Chicago. Lattimore’s play will continue to allow the Packers to not overplay Brad Jones, which is important considering that hamstring injuries can become aggravated with overuse. But Green Bay paid Jones handsomely this offseason and he was playing well before his injury. So the starting job belongs to Jones, but Lattimore will be a part of this defense throughout the rest of the season, which is a bonus that the Packers weren’t expecting to get.
Q: Paul: Have had little chance to see Franklin this season. I understand the ball control (or lack of) issue you pointed out. But all reports are he has great speed, shifty and ability to catch the ball. Is it a possibility to use him in some of the same capacity that GB used Cobb? — Dave Rickford
A: The most troubling statistic for Franklin is that in 19 carries this season he has two fumbles. That’s obviously not good. But when he was given the ball 13 times in Week 3 against the Bengals, Franklin — with the exception of the fourth-quarter fumble that derailed momentum for him — ran it very effectively. You’re right, he showed speed and quick-cutting ability. But overall, I just don’t think Franklin is ready for prime time yet. He’ll continue to develop and the Packers can check in on him again next season and see how he’s improved. But for now, Eddie Lacy and James Starks are just all-around better options.
** Thanks for the questions this week. We’ll do it again next Thursday (Nov. 14) by analyzing the Packers/ Eagles game and looking ahead to the Packers heading on the road to face the New York Giants in Week 11. **