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Updated: December 20th, 2010 12:17pm
Shocker: Brett Favre upgraded to questionable, could play Monday night

Shocker: Brett Favre upgraded to questionable, could play Monday night

by Tom Pelissero
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In what can only be described as a fittingly strange turn in this strangest of seasons, Brett Favre might play on Monday night after all.

The Minnesota Vikings upgraded their 41-year-old quarterback to questionable late Monday morning -- a permissible, but virtually unheard of status update for a player who's been ruled out two days before the game.

The plan is for Favre to throw a few hours before the 7:30 p.m. kickoff against the Chicago Bears at TCF Bank Stadium and see if he's able to play, one week after his record streak of 321 consecutive starts came to an end.

"Brett Favre attempted to throw the football two days ago and was unable to, due to pain in the SC joint and residual numbness from a brachial plexus injury," Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman said in a statement published on the team's Web site.

"He (declared) himself out at that time. He woke up (Monday) morning feeling much improved. His symptoms and function have improved dramatically over the past 24 hours. In fairness to him and his team, he would like to be given the opportunity to play (Monday) night if physically able."

It is widely perceived that a player who is ruled out for a game -- rather than doubtful, questionable or probable -- cannot play under any circumstances. In fact, official NFL injury reports include definitions of each designation, including "Out: 0% chance of playing."

However, according to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, "If a player's medical status changes, the club can update his playing status prior to the game."

Aiello said the team discussed the matter with the league before making the change, indicating a special exemption needed to be made, and the Bears also were informed of the decision. It's unclear whether there is any precedent for such a change on game day.

The announcement left the identity of the Vikings' starting quarterback unclear only hours before kickoff for a second consecutive week. Tarvaris Jackson got the start last week against the New York Giants, only to suffer a toe injury that ended his season.

Favre tried to throw before Saturday's practice, but Vikings interim coach Leslie Frazier said pain in the shoulder was "too excruciating" for the 20th-year veteran to consider playing. Now, it seems unlikely rookie sixth-round draft pick Joe Webb will make his first career start after all, considering the hoops the Vikings had to jump through to give Favre a chance.

As expected, the Vikings also made two other roster moves on Monday, promoting practice-squad quarterback R.J. Archer from the practice squad and placing left guard Steve Hutchinson (broken thumb) on injured reserve.

The New York Daily News reported the Vikings also signed Rhett Bomar off the Giants' practice squad on Monday -- which would put five quarterbacks on the 53-man roster.

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.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero