Brett Favre (Scott Boehm/Getty)
Brett Favre has a stress fracture in his ankle and an avulsion fracture in his heel, but he isn’t willing to give up on his 291-game consecutive-starts streak just yet.
Brett Favre doesn’t sound like a man resigned to giving up his 291-game streak of consecutive starts. He wants to play and he’s letting Brad Childress know about it.
“I can point to different times in my career when I came back and played with whatever injury and was able to play well enough to give us a chance to win,” Favre said. “… That would be my reasoning for wanting to play, my desire to play, and not to mention being able to function. I would say right now that I don't know. And that would be being honest.”
Favre suffered a stress fracture in his left ankle and another fracture in his heel during Sunday night’s 28-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers but played through the injury. On Monday, he was in a walking boot that remained over his foot and ankle during Wednesday’s press conference.”
Playing through the pain wouldn’t be anything new to Favre. He’s done that several times in his career before, including a broken thumb, torn biceps tendon and sprained foot.
Favre had surgery on his left ankle in May to remove scar tissue and bone spurs, and he started the season off by getting a series of lubricating injections in the ankle. He was hurt Sunday night when linebacker Brad Jones tackled him from behind in the third quarter, but the ironman quarterback didn’t miss a snap.
“The fact that I played a quarter and a half gives me maybe a little bit of hope as well,” Favre said. “But we'll just kind of follow the symptoms. If the swelling and pain subsides some, that will tell a lot. And then maybe Friday, I don't know yet, Friday just kind of see where we are. I don't anticipate going through a full practice.”
Favre said conversations with the doctors who performed the surgery on his ankle have left him “a little optimistic” that he wouldn’t do any more damage to the fractures by playing on them. The main issue will be his ability to tolerate the pain.
“My dad was always my baseball and football coach, and I was no different than most kids. You fall down, you start crying, you want attention. I never got it from him,” Favre said. “It was, 'You're not hurt.' And 99 percent of the time he was right. And I just learned that you just get up and you play with it. That's just the way I was brought up and raised. And I think my body, I'm sure several years down the road, I'm going to go, 'Boy, look what the heck you've done.' You know? But this week is not going to make much of a difference in the future based on what I've done the previous 19 years.”
Favre wasn’t at practice on Wednesday as Tarvaris Jackson took the majority of the snaps, and Vikings coach Brad Childress wouldn’t say if Favre needed to practice at all this week to be able to play on Sunday at the New England Patriots. Childress admitted that dealing with a 20-year veteran who has played 291 straight games brings a different dimension to the coach’s decision, but he said he would have to do what’s best for the team.
Favre said he lost count of his streak a long time ago.
“I'm very proud of the streak, but it probably should have ended a long time ago. Numerous injuries, some I just touched on,” Favre said. “The only reason I would want to play – I don't want to go out there for one play. I don't want to go out there for three plays. If I'm able to play, I want to play the whole game and give us a chance to win. I know it makes for good TV, talking about the streak and will it end, will this be the injury that stops him or whatever. Whether it ends this week or it ends at the end of the year, it ends, and I will always be proud of it.”
The main sentiment taken away from his press conference Wednesday was this: “I’m willing to give it a try.”
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.