Notebook: Vikings still not giving up on Brett Favre, Frazier says
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings still aren't giving up on Brett Favre.
The 41-year-old quarterback has failed to finish three consecutive games, missing one of them completely, and was noncommittal about his future after suffering a concussion on a hit by Chicago end Corey Wootton in Monday's blowout loss to the Bears.
But interim coach Leslie Frazier said on Tuesday the Vikings are not considering putting Favre on injured reserve -- nor would Frazier even rule out Favre for Sunday's game at Philadelphia, just six days after his latest injury.
"He doesn't want to let his teammates down," Frazier said. "He really wanted to play in front of the home fans (Monday) night for maybe the last time. That was important to him. I think more than anything, he likes to compete, and the fact that we've got two ballgames left -- he's a guy who loves his teammates and loves to play. I think that's what motivates him more than anything."
This is a different type of situation than the foot, ankle, shoulder and other ailments Favre has battled through this season, of course. The NFL has established a more stringent protocol for the injury, given the long-term risks associated with multiple concussions, and teams for the most part have exercised increased caution.
The four Vikings known to have suffered concussions this season -- safety Husain Abdullah (Oct. 17 against Dallas), cornerback Asher Allen (Nov. 7 against Arizona), receiver Greg Lewis (Nov. 28 at Washington) and safety Jamarca Sanford (Dec. 12 against the New York Giants) -- all sat out the following week of practice and missed a game before returning.
"It's rare, it seems today, that guys are able to come back (from a concussion) on a short week," Frazier said. "So, you wouldn't think that would be possible. But there have been other things you didn't think were possible with Brett."
Frazier categorized Favre's start on Monday as "miraculous in a lot of ways" -- he was ruled out on Saturday's injury report because of pain and numbness in his throwing arm -- but is "not certain of what his future status will be."
It was the third time in eight games Favre has left the game immediately following a big hit. He suffered a lacerated chin on Oct. 31 at New England and a sprained sternoclavicular joint near his right shoulder on Dec. 5 against Buffalo.
Asked about whether Favre is mobile enough to protect himself, Frazier said, "You have to be aware of that potential risk and we have to weigh those. But on that one hit (Monday) that he did have, it really wasn't a chance for him to avoid. (Wootton) was on him so fast, he just had no way of protecting himself when he hit the ground."
Barring another miraculous recovery by Favre, rookie Joe Webb is in line to start against the Eagles, with journeyman Patrick Ramsey backing him up.
According to NFL sources, the Vikings finalized two transactions at the position on Tuesday, waiving undrafted rookie R.J. Archer -- two days after promoting him from the practice squad -- and signing former University of Houston standout Rhett Bomar off the Giants' practice squad.
It seemed likely the Vikings would stick with four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster because of Favre's tenuous status.
"I'm going to go back and talk to (vice president of player personnel) Rick Spielman and the rest of our scouting staff and just find out where we are and what we're thinking about doing with the quarterback position," Frazier said. "Some it depends on what happens with Brett as well."
The Vikings also were exploring options for depth at safety, NFL sources said, after starting Monday's game without backups Tyrell Johnson (knee) and Sanford (concussion) and finishing without starter Madieu Williams (concussion).
Williams had continued to struggle before his second-quarter departure -- most notably taking a terrible angle on Johnny Knox's 67-yard touchdown reception. The injury forced the Vikings to insert special teamer Eric Frampton, their No. 5 safety, and Frazier seemed to indicate he would have considered benching Williams anyway if better alternatives were available.
"We'd explore all avenues if we could," Frazier said. "We've seen (Williams) make those plays before. We've seen him take better angles. Hopefully, he'll get another chance to go out and do better the next time."
Adrian Peterson's sore right knee and thigh are "improving," Frazier said, and there are no discussions about shutting down the All-Pro halfback for the season.
"We'll be cautious regarding Adrian, just making sure that he can do the things he has to do the things he has to do in order to perform before we put him back out there," said Frazier, who categorized Peterson's status as day-to-day.
"And if he can go, then he'll get a chance to go, but if not, if there are any inhibitions, we won't put him at risk."
The only other notable injury from Monday's game was a sprained finger for middle linebacker E.J. Henderson, who returned.
End Ray Edwards (high ankle sprain) finished the game after a two-week absence.
Johnson remains "banged up," Frazier said, raising the possibility he could be the next player headed to IR.
Frazier said a cornerback would have moved to safety if something happened to Husain Abdullah or Frampton but declined to say which cornerback it would have been.
• Frazier said repeatedly he believes he continues to get full effort from players and isn't particularly concerned with their mental state after consecutive lopsided losses. "They've been such a resilient group in the past, and they definitely had to be in the last few weeks," Frazier said. "When we get together (Wednesday), that will be part of our conversation -- how important it is to remain resilient, especially going on the road against a team that is in first place in the NFC East and vying for a spot in the playoffs. ... We've got to be so tough-minded in order to go out there and get a win, that's what we have to address. I don't sense yet that they've begun to wane or they're less motivated than they have been in the past."
• Players had the day off and were not available.