Throughout the years and like any other professional football team, the Green Bay Packers have had their ups and their downs. Since the 1990’s, the Packers have had tremendous success on the football field, more so than many other organizations in professional sports, let alone the National Football League.
During that time, however, they have gone through periods of hardship.
In 2004, legendary Packers running back Ahman Green led the Green and Gold in rushing with an 1100 yard season, rushing for 7 touchdowns along the way.
In 2005, star running back Ahman Green played in only 5 games throughout the entire season, while rushing for just 255 yards. The Packers’ running game was struggling, and with Green struggling to repeat the statistics of his previous season, the Packers needed someone to be the next man up.
Insert Samkon Gado. Gado, who had previously played college football at Liberty, was signed off of the Packers’ practice squad.
From the beginning, Gado was special on that Packers’ roster. He averaged 73 yards per game rushing that season, according to pro football reference, where Green averaged 51.
The Packers were never in severe shape with Gado in the backfield, as he quickly proved that he belonged on the Packers’ roster. There is no doubt that the Packers’ use of Gado was adaptive to his playing style.
It wasn’t easy for Gado to get on the field, however. It took three injuries in the Packers’ backfield from Najeh Davenport, Tony Fischer, and Ahman Green.
Once Gado did get to start in his first NFL game, he rushed for over one hundred yards and scored two touchdowns, solidifying his spot on the Packers’ depth chart. In that 2005 season, Gado went on to rush for over 500 yards and score 6 touchdowns.
In Week 14 of that season, Gado broke a Packers rookie rushing record, pounding the Lions with 172 yards on the ground.
That 2005 season was one in which the Packers did finish 4-12. It was also a turning point.
The Packers got much-needed relief in the backfield from Gado, while the star RB in Ahman Green was able to heal from a triceps injury.
The Green Bay Packers have had many players through the years that may have gone unnoticed by some, but Gado was a fan favorite for the time. He is now a head and neck surgeon, using the money he made from the NFL to pay off his schooling.
There have been some unique Packers players in the past, but none quite as unique as Samkon Gado. From a small college to the Packers practice squad, to rookie records, to a few other NFL teams, then to a head and neck surgeon, Gado has quite the story, no doubt.
Looking back, Gado’s impact was significant. His story, which was even more incredible, highlights his career in the National Football League. The best part, however, is the fact that he knew all along what his purpose of playing in the NFL was going to be, to finance his way through medical school.
Gado has to be a fan favorite and a guy who brought the Packers along in tough times. Today he is remembered as a player whose impact was bigger than football. His story, his effort, and his perseverance play a part in the story of Samkon Gado. Many players come and go, especially guys who are in the locker room for one season. That happens on every team, and more often than not those guys don’t leave a lasting memory in the mind of a fan.
Samkon Gado was different.