Brett Favre questionable for Sunday, but signs point to him playing
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- He's been limited in practice all week. He's questionable on the injury report. His tender throwing elbow has had a marked effect on his play.
But this is Brett Favre, the most durable quarterback in NFL history, and that's reason enough to believe he'll extend his consecutive-start record when the Minnesota Vikings host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
There are other reasons, too. The 41-year-old's workload increased steadily since Wednesday, when he was a nonparticipant in team drills, and coach Brad Childress indicated only a significant and unexpected setback in the next 48 hours would put Favre's status in jeopady.
Asked whether Favre will be a game-time decision, Childress said, "It'll be right up till then, just because you never know coming back (the next day after practice). Of course, he took a few more turns (Friday). I just don't -- I can't look at the crystal ball and see how he wakes up (Saturday). He could wake up with the gout.
"It's a bad deal, you know? I've left people at midnight, they're just fine, and walk into a 6 o' clock staff meeting and a guy's got a cane or a crutch."
Favre made national headlines in his weekly media conference on Wednesday, when he said he would consider sitting out a game -- he's started 313 in a row, including playoffs -- if that's what it took for the tendinitis to abate.
However, he made that statement only when asked hypothetically if it was a possibility and later said he's "very confident in the team and physically where I am right now."
Favre also has a balky ankle that continues to appear on the injury report and has required multiple lubricating injections. But it's the elbow that has been a source of concern in recent weeks -- particularly in light of Favre's accuracy problems late in Monday's 29-20 loss to the New York Jets.
He "looked OK, looked all right" on Friday, Childress said, adding that in terms of velocity and accuracy, Favre "had both at times. Some yes, some no."
Favre only speaks formally with reporters on Wednesdays and after games, but he seemed upbeat as he joked around in the locker room on Friday.
"Everybody's a little different with tendinitis," Childress said. "I've seen a ball come out of his hand this week backwards. Whether that's squeezing it, whether it's because the ball's wet -- a lot of different things happen. You're just worried about command and control with it. I think velocity won't be an issue as long as he's not changing his motion. When you change your motion, other things have a chance to go south."
Backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who split reps in practice this week, hasn't appeared in a game situation since a rough preseason in which he completed 12 of 26 passes (46.2%) for 60 yards.
Childress had enough confidence in Jackson to trade away his only other experienced signal-caller, Sage Rosenfels, to the New York Giants last month. But it's a long shot Childress even would consider sitting down Favre this week if Favre wants to be on the field.
Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who first referred to Favre as a game-time decision on Thursday, acknowledged that "it's hard to imagine, but he wants to do what's best for the team. We want to do what's best for the team.
"Could it happen? Yeah, it could happen, but I'm with you -- it's hard to see."