Brett Favre (Jed Jacobsohn/Getty)
Brett Favre has been working out with high school players in Mississippi, but he told USA Today that his surgically repaired ankle isn’t 100 percent yet and is keeping him from making a decision on his future.
Here we go again.
Hearts in Vikings Country were broken when Brett Favre announced shortly before the start of training camp last year that he wasn’t coming back. A little less than a year later, much the same story is coming out of the Favre camp … but this time he’s actually speaking for himself rather than leaving the guesswork to others.
In an interview Tuesday with Jon Saraceno of USA Today, Favre said that, at the current time, he doesn’t know whether he can come back at 100 percent.
“If I could guarantee it, I would,” Favre told Saraceno. “Obviously, I can’t make people understand what I’m going through.”
As Sarah Palin is wont to say, Favre “refutiated” that Vikings coach Brad Childress’ visit with him at his home in Mississippi was seeking out a timeline for his return, saying that Childress just stopped by on his way back to Minnesota from Florida, although Mapquest doesn’t necessarily put a connecting flight to Hattiesburg as a logical stopping point from the Sunshine State. Childress has already said the Vikings are willing to wait as long as it takes for Favre to feel comfortable with his surgically repaired ankle to make his return.
Even so, Favre said that the most patient of coaches can only wait so long for a definitive answer – deadline or not.
“There obviously comes a point where you’ve probably gone too far – where you just have to move on. He hopes I make the right decision for myself – one way or the other. Our visit was great. I think the world of him (and) his patience. He and I joked about there were some rocky times last year. All of a sudden, we weren’t sittin’ on the front porch anymore BS-ing, but any good team has that. We’re both competitors. That happens.”
The issue this time around isn’t a surgically repaired biceps tendon. It’s an ankle that took a lot of abuse last season, especially late. One of Favre’s best attributes has been his ability to slide in the pocket to avoid a pass rush and give his receivers time to get open. Although it has been more than two months since he had the ankle surgery (his third ankle surgery), he said that he isn’t 100 percent yet, which is a concern for a player trying to get his body prepared for a 20th NFL season.
“After almost nine weeks, it’s not where I would like it to be,” Favre said. “But I’m working at it. Maybe it never gets to where I want it to be. Forty years old ... three surgeries ... that’s all you need to know.”
For Vikings fans who are reading too much into it, those who played with Favre last year or saw the impact he had on his teammates behind the scenes remain convinced that he will be in uniform when the Vikings open the 2010 regular season with a nationally televised season-opening rematch with the New Orleans Saints from their electric NFC Championship Game. They learned what a competitor Favre is. They may also have learned that what says in July doesn’t necessarily translate into what he says in August.
Favre declined to comment on a quote from longtime agent Bus Cook, who told Men’s Journal magazine that he was angry that Favre discussed needing ankle surgery with ESPN, adding the infamous line that Favre can be a “drama queen.”
The Vikings are just a little over a week away from the start of training camp, but fans shouldn’t be overly alarmed about the lack of signings. To date, they have only signed two late-round draft picks, but it has become something of a trend for teams to wait until the days before training camp to get their signings done. It seems as though they work their way up the draft list from the bottom and the signings should start popping in the next few days. The team hasn’t had a long contract holdout since Bryant McKinnie sat out the first half of his rookie season.
Injured guard Chester Pitts held a workout Tuesday. Although rumored to be on the Vikings’ radar, sources have said he isn’t likely to come to Minnesota. The most interest at the workout was expressed by the Colts and Steelers, according to NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora, but, according to his agent, a pair of other teams have expressed interest, but both the Vikings and Eagles have claimed they are not among those teams.
Disgraced Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell entered a not guilty plea in an Alabama courtroom Tuesday. Russell was arrested two weeks ago after a months-long police sting that found him in possession of codeine syrup that is a popular intoxicant in the southern U.S. and given the nickname “Purple Drank.”
Speaking of disgraced, USC officials announced Tuesday that the school will eliminate any reference or images of Reggie Bush, who was at the center of an NCAA investigation that brought heavy sanctions against the school. The disavowing of Bush includes the removal of the school’s version of the Heisman Trophy won by Bush while playing for the Trojans.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for 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.