Thursday, September 10, 2009
NFL looking at possible violation
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum admitted Thursday the team should have disclosed Brett Favre's torn biceps tendon on mandatory weekly injury reports over the final third of last season.
Favre, now with the Minnesota Vikings, said earlier this week he thought he was hurting the Jets because of the injury and discussed it with the coaches and the front office. He said he would have been willing to sit out, even though that would have ended his streak of consecutive starts, which now stands at 269 games.
GM Mike Tannenbaum, right, shown with team chairman and CEO Woody Johnson earlier this month, says the Jets will be cooperating with the league in its investigation.
Tannenbaum said he should have listed the quarterback as "probable," but didn't because the injury was not severe enough to require daily treatment and there was never any doubt Favre would play.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league was investigating.
"We have just started looking into it," he said. "No determinations have been made regarding discipline."
In the past, such violations usually have resulted in fines.
Hiding injuries could affect an opponent's preparation and the NFL has stepped up policing such practices.
"As the GM of this team, I should've handled that differently and listed him on the report," Tannenbaum said. "We didn't, just because he wasn't getting treatment every day and we knew he was going to play. But, looking back on it now, I should've listed him as probable, and we didn't, and I'll take responsibility for that."
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He said he has spoken to Ray Anderson, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations.
"I'll just say that we'll cooperate with them," Tannenbaum said, "and we'll go from there."
Favre led the Jets to a 8-3 start and first place in the AFC East. But he threw nine interceptions down the stretch and the team lost four of its last five games, missing the playoffs.
Favre said Wednesday he felt as though he was harming the Jets with slight misses on some throws. He also said he spoke with Tannenbaum, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and quarterbacks coach Brian Daboll and the consensus was to finish out the season. Favre didn't mention former Jets head coach Eric Mangini, now coaching the Cleveland Browns.
"It was a decision that we made collectively and Brett was part of it," Tannenbaum said. "We just felt he gave us the best chance to win and that was based on how he was playing and how the team was doing. Again, he was part of that decision, but collectively, we thought that was in the best interest of the team."
Favre retired after the season, and was later released by the Jets. He came out of retirement -- for the second time -- last month and signed with Minnesota.
Also on Wednesday, Favre told reporters he may not be able to play all 16 games with the Vikings this season. The biceps tendon was surgically repaired, but he's playing with a torn rotator cuff and he recently suggested he might have a cracked rib.
Mangini echoed Tannenbaum's comments and refused to blame Favre's performance for the Jets' late-season collapse.
"With that whole part of the season, I made the decisions that I thought were best for the team at that time," he said. "You take all the information in and you move forward with it. There were a lot of things that I could have done better. There were a lot of things the coaches could have done better, and there are a lot of things as players we could have done better. I don't think winning or losing is ever going to come down to one guy, it's a cumulative thing."
Schottenheimer said the team never came close to benching Favre.
"No, I don't think so," he said. "It was one of those things where you're talking about one of the toughest competitors that you'll ever see. I know there were some days where he felt worse than others. ... He loves to play and it's hard to keep him off the field."
Backup quarterback Kellen Clemens said he was aware Favre was in some pain, but was never told he might have to start in the veteran's place.
"Brett Favre at 85 percent is still better than most, myself included," Clemens said. "Not to mention, he's Brett Favre. He probably would've had to be in a wheelchair or something. I didn't take that personal."
Clemens added that Favre was limited in practice and took less snaps as the season wore on.
"I knew just because of the situation with Brett being in some pain, off and on, that as a backup, I had a little bit better chance of playing on Sundays," he said.