Packers-Falcons: Postgame notes

Gado celebrates birthday with 100-yard rushing game

Samkon Gado celebrated his 23rd birthday in grand fashion Sunday. Playing near his hometown of Columbia, S.C. and in front of many friends and relatives, Gado delivered the Packers' first 100-yard rushing game of the season.

The rookie carried the ball 25 times for 103 yards in the Green Bay's 33-25 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome. He looked pretty good in the process, scoring two touchdowns on the ground and one off a shovel pass from Brett Favre.

Gado started in place of the injured Tony Fisher (broken rib) and probably put himself in position to start again when the Packers play the Minnesota Vikings Nov. 21 on Monday Night Football. Though he fumbled the ball twice (both were recovered by the Packers) and missed some reads, which could have resulted in more yards gained, Gado played well.

"He's still got a long way to go," said Packers coach Mike Sherman. "I'm sure he'll make the most of it. He put the ball on the ground one time and he apologized for that, said it wouldn't happen again. I take his word for it."

Gado was signed to Green Bay's practice squad on Oct. 17. He was promoted to the Packers 53-man roster a day before Green Bay's game at Cincinnati. He carried once in that game for eight yards. He took over for ReShard Lee a week later against Pittsburgh early in the game, after Lee was pulled for fumbling the ball away, and finished with 62 yards on 26 carries. Both were season highs for the Packers until Sunday.

"I didn't even dream of it. I didn't think it was a reality, but I'm here," Gado said with a smile. "I'll enjoy it as much as possible but not lose sight of what got me here."

He's back
Linebacker Na'il Diggs, who has been sidelined since his tore the MCL in his right knee on Oct. 3, returned to action against the Falcons. Diggs split time at strong-side linebacker with Paris Lenon, who started at the "Sam" linebacker position for the fifth time this season in place of Diggs.

Diggs finished with four tackles and said he felt pretty good afterward.

"My main goal is to come out of the game healthy and just have the best game that I could," said Diggs.

Diggs tore the MCL in his left knee during training camp was was sidelined through the first game of the season. He returned to start in Week 3 against Tampa Bay and Week 4 against Carolina before he was hurt again. Diggs returned to practice after Green Bay's game at Cincinnati.

"I didn't feel any rust at all," he said. "I felt pretty good. I was going balls out and just letting it go. It turned out well. I took the right mentality as far as that goes."

New roles
Gado got his first career start in place of the injured Tony Fisher (broken rib).

Second-year lineman Scott Wells made his first career start at left guard in place of the ineffective Adrian Klemm.

Running back ReShard Lee was utilized as Green Bay's third-down back. The Packers lost running back Walter Williams for the season two days before the game when Williams sustained a hamstring injury in practice.

Offensive tackle Mark Tauscher lined up in the tight end position on a few plays against the Falcons.

Did not suit up
The following Packers players were inactive for Sunday's game: cornerback Mike Hawkins running back Tony Fisher, offensive linemen Junius Coston and Chris White, tight end David Martin, wide receiver Robert Ferguson, and defensive tackle Corey Williams. Craig Nall was the team's designated third quarterback.

Williams sustained a calf contusion last Sunday against Pittsburgh and did not practice during the week. Martin (groin) and Fisher (rib) each missed their second straight game. Ferguson (knee) has been out since he was injured Oct. 23 against Minnesota.

Hawkins injured his ankle in practice on Thursday of this week. Patrick Dendy, promoted to the active roster from the practice squad, was activated for the game.

The following Falcons players were inactive for Sunday's game: QB Ty Detmer, WR Michael Jenkins, RB DeAndra Cobb, S Antuan Edwards, FB Fred McCrary, G Ben Claxton, T Frank Omiyale, DE Brady Smith.

Extra points
-- Donald Driver in the first quarter extended his streak of games with a catch to 57. The stretch is the fourth longest in Packers history. Next up on the list are Hall of Famer James Lofton (58), current running backs coach Edgar Bennett (60) and all-time leader Sterling Sharpe (103).

-- The Packers have scored 66 points off 13 take-aways this season. Green Bay recovered three fumbles against Atlanta.

-- Ryan Longwell's 53-yard field goal with 1:51 left in the third quarter tied his season high.

-- With the victory and their upcoming game not until next Monday, Mike Sherman gave his players tomorrow off. They will meet again on Wednesday to prepare for the Minnesota Vikings.

Packer Report Top Stories