Short-term fame, long-term memories

Welcome to the club Samkon Gado.

Sunday, the Nigerian-born running back ran for 103-yards and scored three touchdowns as the Packers toppled the Falcons 33-25 in Atlanta.

Not bad for a fifth-stringer pressed into action because of injuries to Ahman Green, Najeh Davenport, Tony Fisher and Walt Williams.

With his performance Sunday, Gado joined a group of Packers who emerged from nowhere and delivered in a big way.

In most cases, these out-of-nowhere players returned to obscurity but with the Packers thinner than Twiggy at running back, it's almost a certainty that Gado will be heard from again.

Here's a look at some other Packers who rose from the ashes and provided a surprise or two:

RANDY JOHNSON, DEC. 12, 1976 AT ATLANTA

In his only start with the Packers and in the final game of his 10-year NFL career, quarterback Randy Johnson keyed a 24-20 win at Atlanta in the 1976 season-finale.

Johnson joined the Packers as a free agent Nov. 16 and played because of an injury to Lynn Dickey and the struggles of Carlos Brown.

Facing the team that drafted him No. 1 in its expansion year of 1966, Johnson was 15-of-26 for 165 yards and scrambled 3-yards for a touchdown in helping the Pack halt a four-game skid.

MIKE MEADE, OCT. 17, 1982 AT LAMBEAU FIELD

Mike Meade, a fullback, scored the Packers' final touchdown in their historic 48-47 Monday night win over the Washington Redskins at Lambeau Field.

Meade's 31-yard scoring play gave the Packers a 45-40 lead in the fourth quarter.

The touchdown was the only one of Meade's four-year career. After the 1983 season, Meade concluded his NFL career by playing two seasons with Detroit.

RICH CAMPBELL, DEC. 9, 1984 AT CHICAGO

With Dickey out because of severe headaches and Randy Wright on the bench with a knee injury, little-used quarterback Rich Campbell helped the Packers upset the Bears 20-14 on Dec. 9, 1984 at Soldier Field.

Campbell's 43-yard touchdown heave to Phil Epps in the final minutes of the game proved to be the difference.

Campbell, the Packers' No. 1 pick in 1981, was 3-for-11 with three interceptions and a touchdown in the season-finale a week later and never played in the NFL again.

JOHN SIMMONS, NOV. 27, 1986 AT DETROIT

In his third game with the Packers, John Simmons recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown in that wild 44-40 win over the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day 1986 at the Silverdome.

The touchdown, off Tim Harris' block, tied the game at 10 in the first quarter.

The reserve defensive back was picked up on waivers from the Cincinnati Bengals, where he played for Forrest Gregg, prior to the Packers' Nov. 16 game vs. Tampa Bay at Milwaukee.

The six games were the only contests Simmons would play for the Packers. Simmons closed his career with two games for the Colts in 1987.

ANTHONY DILWEG, SEPT. 9, 1990 AT GREEN BAY

Anthony Dilweg's first start at quarterback turned out to be his best.

Because Don Majkowski's holdout had ended the week of the game, coach Lindy Infante started Dilweg and the Duke product responded with a performance that earned him the NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award.

Dilweg, who threw one pass in his rookie season of 1989, was 20-of-32 for 248 yards with three touchdowns in the Packers' season-opening 36-24 win over the Los Angeles Rams at Lambeau Field.

Dilweg started the next week but was replaced by Majkowski. Dilweg was idle until Nov. 18 when Majkowski went down with a shoulder injury. Dilweg played much of the rest of the season – although Blair Kiel did see some action – as the Packers lost three of their last four games. 1990 proved to be Dilweg's last season in the NFL.

KITTRICK TAYLOR, SEPT. 20, 1992 AT GREEN BAY

Kittrick Taylor was a wide receiver in the right place at the right time.

Taylor scored the decisive touchdown on a 35-yard pass from Brett Favre in the waning moments of a 24-23 win over the Cincinnati Bengals Sept. 20, 1992 at Lambeau Field.

Favre used the game as a springboard for a Hall of Fame career. Taylor had one more catch as a Packer. He played briefly with Denver the next season before his career ended.

TERRY MICKENS, NOV. 3, 1996 AT GREEN BAY

The eventual Super Bowl champion Packers were in desperate need of receiving help when they took the field against the Detroit Lions Nov. 3, 1996.

With Antonio Freeman inactive with a broken arm and Robert Brooks out for the year with a knee injury, Brett Favre turned to Terry Mickens, who had spent the first part of the season battling an ankle injury.

In his career start and first game of the season, Mickens caught a team-high seven passes for 52 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-18 victory. The seven catches equaled his NFL career total entering the game.

Mickens made 11 more catches in 1996 but returned to the depths of the depth chart when Freeman returned and the Packers signed Andre Rison. After making one catch in 11 games for the 1997 Pack, Mickens closed his career with two seasons in Oakland.

DARICK HOLMES, NOV. 15, 1998 AT EAST RUTHERFORD

DARICK HOLMES, NOV. 29, 1998 AT GREEN BAY

The only difference between Gado and Darick Holmes is experience.

Holmes, who joined the Packers in 1998 after a four-year stint with Buffalo, emerged as the Packers top back when the club was decimated by injuries.

Holmes followed Dorsey Levens, Travis Jervey and Raymont Harris in the Packer backfield. Against the Giants, Holmes gained 111 yards and scored once in a 37-3 victory. After a 51-yard effort at Minnesota, Holmes ran for 163 yards in a 24-16 win over the Eagles. The 163 yards were tied for the sixth-highest output in franchise history at the time.

After that, though, the Packers started working the healing Levens back into the lineup, limiting Holmes' touches. Holmes gained just 62 yards over the Packers' final four regular-season games and he did not play in that year's playoff game. Holmes never played in the NFL again after the 1998 season.

DE'MOND PARKER, DEC. 5, 1999 AT CHICAGO

Talk about finishing up strong.

De'Mond Parker rushed for 88 of his 113-yards and scored twice in the fourth quarter as the Packers beat the Bears 35-19 Dec. 5, 1999 in Chicago.

Parker was playing because of a rib injury to starter Dorsey Levens and started the game sharing time with fellow rookie Basil Mitchell.

The 113 yards, gained in treacherous conditions, accounted for all but 156 of the rushing yards Parker accrued in his three-year NFL career.


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