It's over: Brett Favre deactivated for Vikings' game against Giants
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DETROIT -- One of the greatest streaks in American sports history has ended.
Brett Favre's career might be next.
The Minnesota Vikings deactivated their 41-year-old quarterback for Monday night's game against the New York Giants -- snapping Favre's legendary run of 297 consecutive starts (321 including playoffs) that dated to his first NFL start on Sept. 20, 1992.
Favre suffered a sprained sternoclavicular joint near his throwing shoulder on the third play of last weekend's win over Buffalo on a hit from Bills linebacker Arthur Moats. His practice time was extremely limited last week, but as late as Sunday afternoon, Vikings interim coach Leslie Frazier said he expected Favre to try throwing before the game.
That throwing session never happened. Favre was seen entering Ford Field around 5:15 p.m. Eastern on Monday -- a little more than 2 hours before kickoff, which is later than usual for him -- and never appeared on the field during early warm-ups.
Instead, Tarvaris Jackson got his first start since a playoff loss to Philadelphia on Jan. 4, 2009, and Joe Webb was the No. 2 quarterback. The Vikings had the option of having Favre suit up as the No. 3 quarterback, which wouldn't have counted against the 45-man game day roster, but he apparently wasn't even in condition to do that.
Also inactive for the Vikings were: receiver Percy Harvin, receiver Hank Baskett, safety Tyrell Johnson, cornerback Chris Cook, left guard Steve Hutchinson and left end Ray Edwards. Cook (knee) and Johnson (knee) were ruled out on Friday, while Harvin (migraines) was doubtful and Favre, Hutchinson (thumb) and Edwards (ankle) were questionable.
Over 19 seasons, Favre's streak survived numerous injuries, including a fractured foot and ankle that threatened to sideline him from the Vikings' game on Oct. 31 at New England. But time and again, Favre found ways to get himself ready to play -- until Monday, when the streak ended 90 minutes before kickoff with his name on the last line of the Vikings' inactive list.
The only other comparably famous ironman streak -- Cal Ripken's 2,632 games played in baseball -- ended with the Baltimore Orioles' infielder deciding voluntarily to sit out on Sept. 20, 1998.
Favre's ended with an injury in what has been the most disappointing of his 20 NFL seasons. His 69.6 passer rating is among the league's worst, he's thrown 18 interceptions -- tied for an NFL high -- as a Vikings season that began with Super Bowl hopes stumbled to 5-7.
A grandfather who has skipped part or all of training camp the past three years, Favre has said repeatedly this is his final season. The Vikings have only three games remaining, ending with a trip back here to Ford Field to face the Lions on Jan. 2.