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Updated: August 9th, 2010 6:44pm
Ryan Longwell says Brett Favre's decision has 'definitely weighed heavy'

Ryan Longwell says Brett Favre's decision has 'definitely weighed heavy'

by Tom Pelissero
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MANKATO, Minn. -- Sometime in the coming days, Brett Favre will visit renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews, who performed the Minnesota Vikings quarterback's ankle surgery in May.

And sometime shortly after that, there is certain to be much ado about what is said during that visit -- likely including a new timeline for Favre to finally make a decision about playing a 20th NFL season.

But as Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell pointed out on Monday, all the X-rays and MRIs in the world won't change how the ankle feels to Favre, who has cited persistent pain as the reason he's still undecided about returning to the team.

"If (Andrews) says, 'It's absolutely perfect,' and you wake up and every day your foot hits the ground out of bed, it's aching, then words don't mean a lot at that point," said Longwell, Favre's longtime teammate and best friend on the team.

"I think it'll be a factor. How big a factor? I'm not sure."

Favre, 40, had surgery on May 21 to remove scar tissue and bone spurs from the ankle, which has been surgically repaired twice before and remained badly bruised and swollen weeks after the Vikings' NFC championship game loss to New Orleans on Jan. 24.

In a statement shortly after surgery, Favre described the procedure as minor and said it wouldn't impact his decision on whether to return. On June 16, Andrews himself said the surgery went well and Favre had "a few more weeks of rehabbing" ahead before making decision.

"He'd like to (decide) sooner than later," Longwell said, "but at the same time, wait as long as he can and see if he gets any more action out of the ankle."

Roughly 2½ months after surgery, Favre has resumed his offseason throwing at a Mississippi high school. But he continues to say the ankle doesn't feel right, and revelations surfaced last Tuesday he had texted teammates and Vikings officials to say he was retiring.

Jay Glazer of, who visited Vikings camp over the weekend, on Monday published an inside look at the team's response -- including pleas from teammates to reconsider and the offer of a lucrative raise.

An unnamed player told Glazer that Favre is "torn" and wanted to retire, "but I don't think he can say no to these guys. He's tortured."

Asked if "tortured" was an accurate way to describe his friend, Longwell said, "I would say so. I would say deep down ... I think he really wants to play, loves the guys, loves the locker room. But if you can't play and give it your all like you're used to playing with injuries and stuff, then that kind of leaves you in a bind with what you do. I would say it's definitely weighed heavy."

Vikings coach Brad Childress said he had texted with Favre on Monday morning but had no update and wasn't sure when the appointment with Andrews was scheduled.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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