Thursday, October 28, 2010
Brett Favre no longer in walking boot
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The signs of progress are small but noticeable for Brett Favre and his injured left ankle.
Favre missed his second straight day of practice for the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, but walked around the facility without the oversized boot which had been protecting an injury that is putting his league-record 291-straight starts streak in jeopardy.
The 41-year-old quarterback limped through the locker room with a heavy wrap on his ankle, which was injured in the loss to Green Bay on Sunday night.
Asked if he thought he could play against New England, Favre said, "I wouldn't put anything past me, to be honest with you."
Favre has a stress fracture in the ankle as well as an avulsion fracture in the heel bone, where a fragment has been torn away by a tendon or ligament. He consulted with the doctors who performed surgery on his ankle this summer to get him ready for a 20th NFL season, and was told that the injury would not get any worse by playing on it.
"He's been a little better every day," coach Brad Childress said Thursday. "Whether it's good enough to play in an NFL football game remains to be seen. Just have to take it a day at a time."
He was still in pain as he hobbled around Thursday, which is nothing new for the NFL's version of Iron Man. Favre has played in 315 straight games including the playoffs, by far the longest streak in league history.
"That's legendary, honestly," Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said. "Let's be real: 291 games straight. First thing that comes to my mind is, of course, I'm a little jealous. That's something that wows me as well.
"I'm pretty sure it's important to him. But I know that the team's welfare is more important to him. I'm pretty sure he'll make the best decision for the team."
Friday would appear to be a big day for Favre's chances to play against the Patriots on Sunday. He said Wednesday he hoped to get out on the practice field at least on a limited basis by Friday. The team will issue the final injury report of the week for him Friday afternoon, declaring him out, doubtful or probable to play.
"It's going to take the sky to fall for him not to go out there," tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said.
Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who was Favre's quarterbacks coach in Green Bay, said he would be surprised if Favre's streak ended Sunday.
"Surprising would probably be a good word," Bevell said. "He's never not been out there, so it would probably be a surprise."
If he cannot play, Tarvaris Jackson would step in for his first start since a divisional playoff loss to Philadelphia at the end of the 2008 season.
It's been a trying season for Favre in more ways than one. He has already thrown more interceptions (10) than he did all of last season (7) and has a 68.0 quarterback rating that ranks 30th in the league -- above only Derek Anderson, Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen.
Off the field, he is the subject of an NFL investigation into allegations he sent inappropriate messages to a game-day hostess when both worked for the New York Jets in 2008. Favre has spoken to league officials about the matter, but the woman who allegedly received the messages has not.
Jenn Sterger's manager, Phil Reese, said Thursday that Sterger has not met with league investigators. He did not say if any meetings with the league are planned but that "she is strongly considering it and is leaning towards it."