Two things have blurred the memory of Don Wells, a fine defensive end for the Packers in the late 1940s–the team was in steep decline and his career was greatly shortened by injury problems. Wells was born on July 12, 1922 in Waycross, Georgia, but grew up in Fort Pierce, Florida where he was a schoolboy star. He earned a football scholarship to the University of Georgia and was drafted in the sixth round by the Packers in 1945.
After the War, Don joined the team in 1946 and appeared in every game for Green Bay during his first three years. He even caught two passes in his rookie season, one for a 65-yard gain against the Rams on October 6 in Milwaukee. However, he had knee surgery following the 1947 season and had knee problems reoccur in late 1948. In early 1949, Wells suffered another knee injury while working as a life guard in Florida and underwent another operation.
Due to his ailing knee, Don was released by the Packers after the third game of the ’49 season, and he was replaced by Steve Pritko. Back in Florida that off season, Wells injured his knee again in an automobile accident. He did some semipro coaching in the area and drove a beer truck before buying Don’s Grocery Store in Stuart, Florida and settling in. He died of cancer in a hospice on February 14, 1989 at the age of 66. Three days later, the Today Show aired a segment on hospice care that featured him and his caregiver. Wells was survived by a son, Dale.
All custom cards are colorized.