Notebook: Brett Favre ruled out; Joe Webb to make first NFL start
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- After starting 321 consecutive games, Brett Favre will miss two in a row.
The Minnesota Vikings officially ruled out their 41-year-old quarterback for Monday's game against Chicago after a failed throwing session before Saturday's practice, and interim coach Leslie Frazier confirmed rookie Joe Webb will make his first NFL start.
"He can throw it," Frazier said of Favre, who hasn't played since a hit by Buffalo linebacker Arthur Moats left him with a sprained sternoclavicular joint near his throwing shoulder on Dec. 5.
"But the pain is just too excruciating right now. That's what he has to get past."
The announcement was no surprise, considering Favre missed the entire week of practice and all but ruled himself out on Thursday, saying he still was experiencing numbness in his right hand.
However, Frazier had refused to dismiss Favre's chances for returning to the lineup, and he reiterated on Saturday there remains hope the veteran could return before the season ends on Jan. 2 at Detroit -- noting the numbness has begun to dissipate.
Asked if placing Favre on season-ending injured reserve is an option, Frazier said, "I don't know if we'll go in that direction, because it could change by Tuesday or even on Monday. It could change. Some of (the pain) has subsided from a week ago, so he's gradually getting better -- just not enough to where you could put him out there to play. So, next week could be a little bit different, so we just have to gauge it."
For now, the ball is in Webb's hands, thanks to the toe injury that sent backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson to injured reserve on Thursday.
Drafted in the sixth round as a receiver out of UAB, Webb moved back to his natural position after May's minicamp and earned his roster spot with an impressive preseason. But until last week, the bulk of Webb's practice work had been with the scout team, and he's played only 10 NFL snaps on offense -- one as a receiver on Dec. 5 and nine in relief of Jackson on Monday against the New York Giants.
"The guys like him, and he's got great ability," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said on Friday. "I think that the playe's around him kind of feed off his energy a little bit. I think he has great confidence. I don't think he has any problem stepping in the huddle, calling the plays, feeling confident that he can do what we're asking him to do."
Bevell acknowledged the Vikings have installed a stripped-down game plan for Webb and veteran backup Patrick Ramsey, who was signed off the street to replace Jackson on the 53-man roster. And Frazier confirmed coaches have delivered a clear message to the team that it's up to players to take some of the burden off Webb's 24-year-old shoulders.
"Joe Webb had a good day (Saturday)," Frazier said. "Really pleased with the progress he's made. He really seems as if this whole thing is not too big for him, and really looking forward to watching him play on Monday night."
Left guard Steve Hutchinson (broken right thumb) and backup safety Tyrell Johnson (knee) also were ruled out for Monday, and Frazier said the team is having discussions about putting Hutchinson on injured reserve.
Hutchinson continues to wear a cast and has had limited participation in only one practice since breaking the thumb on Nov. 28 at Washington.
"Some (swelling) has subsided," Frazier said, "but there's still more we'd like to see removed and also some of the pain that he has right now."
Halfback Adrian Peterson (ankle/knee), end Ray Edwards (ankle) and backup safety Jamarca Sanford (concussion) all were listed as questionable. But Frazier said Peterson and Edwards were feeling "better," and both appear to be good bets to play on Monday.
Cornerback Asher Allen (ankle) and Webb (hamstring) fully participated in practice all week and were listed as probable.
The only player remaining on the Bears' injury report, linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee), was limited in practice on Saturday and listed as questionable.
• The Vikings were considering promoting undrafted rookie quarterback R.J. Archer from the practice squad, Frazier said, but no decision had been reached. "We want to have a viable option in an emergency situation," Frazier said. WR Greg Camarillo was the emergency option in Monday's loss.