Favre says he'd consider sitting out: 'I don't want to play just to play'
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Brett Favre's record consecutive-games streak isn't in jeopardy yet, but the Minnesota Vikings' 41-year-old quarterback on Wednesday said he'd consider sitting out if tendinitis in his throwing elbow continues to worsen.
"Sure, I think any player would have to consider that," said Favre, who has made 313 straight starts including playoffs. "Going through that type of situation where, I can (play), but will rest help? Yeah, that'd be a consideration."
Favre said his velocity hasn't been impacted by the injury, which first flared up a few weeks ago, but he acknowledged it hurt his accuracy late in Monday's 29-20 loss to the New York Jets.
He threw incomplete on eight of his last 10 passes, gift-wrapped a game-changing interception Dwight Lowery returned for a touchdown and missed several open receivers.
"There were some throws that, blind-folded, I felt like I could have made, and made some good throws but missed on some that I don't miss on," Favre said. "That's what I don't want to happen. You're not going to make every throw, but I would have made some of those throws."
"I don't want to play just to play, and so once again, it hasn't gotten worse, but I'm being as cautious as I can, and it's kind of a funny type of injury. It could flare up and get worse. I don't know if it's necessarily going to just go away -- that's the thing that I've learned about it. And the most important thing is rest. I could sit out all week and play Sunday, but I need the reps."
Therein lies Favre's dilemma -- taking time off might help the injury, but he also needs all the work he can get with his ever-evolving cast of receivers. He said he spent one-on-one film time with Randy Moss on Tuesday and will be cautious with the workload he puts on the elbow in practice this week.
Given his history, the odds seem long Favre voluntarily would leave the lineup unless he simply can't throw the ball at all.
On Wednesday, he addressed reporters with stimulation wires poking out of a wrap on the elbow and later took the field with a new black sleeve on it. He didn't throw any passes during the portion of practice the media was allowed to watch and was listed as a nonparticipant on the injury report.
Asked if he's more compelled to play through the pain because, at 1-3, the Vikings have less room for error, Favre said, "I can't say I'm any more determined, and I honestly can't say that if we're 4-0 I would be less apt to (sit). I enjoy playing. Each season is different, but I know like throwing that touchdown to Randy (on Monday) -- that felt good, and I knew we needed that big-time. We needed a spark (and) we got a flame at that point.
"I want to be a part of that, either way, and I think that there's really good things to come. OK, it's not the start it was last year, but this team is very capable, I think it's wide open in this league and I couldn't tell you how we're going to finish, where we'll be at the halfway point, but I like what I see."
Coach Brad Childress wouldn't speculate on whether he'd consider going to backup Tarvaris Jackson if Favre's tendinitis doesn't subside, saying that he's "not big on hypotheticals. But you're always considering, you're always taking information and seeing what's the best for the greater good, yeah."
Childress said film review didn't turn up a "funny" throwing motion or any other evidence the injury is negatively impacting Favre's mechanics.
This isn't the first time Favre has battled tendinitis, which also caused him to miss significant time in Green Bay Packers training camp in 2000.
"Prior to that, if you'd have told me tendinitis would keep me out, I would have laughed at you," Favre said. "I always looked at it as that's kind of a wimpy injury. It was painful. Very painful, and for people that have had it, lifting things is a problem -- so throwing 50-yard bombs is even tougher.
"We've been treating it. It's been there for several weeks. Hasn't gotten any worse, it really hasn't gotten better."
Favre also has been dealing with an NFL investigation into allegations of sexually charged misconduct during his time with the Jets in 2008, but he said his focus has been "great."
Childress responded to a question about Favre's health and emotional state by saying, "Yeah, I'm worried about both, but I'm worried about a lot of guys' emotional state. I just don't want guys to get mentally ill with four games into the season, and we talk about that -- hey, you make your corrections and then you get on with your next opponent and you don't let the same guy beat you twice.
"I think he's got a decent balance. We'll just see how his arm shapes up here the rest of this week."