EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Brett Favre's sprained throwing shoulder is making it difficult for him to put on a shirt or pull on his socks, so the 41-year-old is going to wait a few days before he decides about playing against the New York Giants on Sunday.
Favre said Wednesday he is unsure if he will be able to extend his NFL record for consecutive games started against the Giants. The Vikings quarterback hopes a few more days of rest will provide some clarity for him to make a decision by Friday, but interim coach Leslie Frazier said he wouldn't be surprised if it goes right up until game time.
He has started 297 straight regular season games, a record he cherishes more than any other he has achieved over the past 20 seasons. But if that mark ends on Sunday, Favre insisted he is fine with that.
"It really hasn't crossed my mind this week that I've got to get out there to keep the streak going," Favre said. "I think the most important streak right now is we've won two in a row."
Favre did not practice Wednesday and said it was unlikely that he would get much work in this week. He's played through numerous injuries throughout his career to keep the remarkable streak going, a reputation for toughness that has Frazier thinking that he'll be ready to go again this week.
"Brett Favre is so, so unique when it comes to recovering from injuries," Frazier said. "I'm optimistic that he will be out there playing on Sunday."
In what he says is his final season, Favre has only reinforced his iron man reputation. He is playing on a left foot that has two broken bones and has also played through tendinitis in his throwing elbow and injuries to his calf, neck, back and chin.
Still, he's thrown a league-high 18 interceptions and his 69.6 quarterback rating ranks 29th in the league, ahead of only Derek Anderson and Jimmy Clausen.
Favre said this injury, a sprained SC joint, is different. He's never had one like it before and isn't sure how he will recover. It happened when he was crunched by Bills linebacker Arthur Moats in the third play of the game on Sunday and is even more significant because it is in his throwing shoulder, which rendered him unable to play the rest of the game.
"I know if I pull my shirt over my head right now, I'm going to feel it," Favre said. "And if you think that way in a game: 'Ooh, if I throw this hook, it's going to (hurt), I may want to throw it to the flat first,' then I probably shouldn't play."
Tarvaris Jackson filled in for the rest of the game, throwing two touchdowns and three interceptions in Minnesota's 38-14 win over Buffalo. If Favre cannot play, Jackson would get the start.
Frazier said team doctors and trainers are still discussing if a painkilling injection would even help Favre. A sprained SC joint is a rare injury in football and the location — where the collarbone meets the breastbone — can make it more difficult to rehab quickly.
Despite the beating he's taken this season, Favre still said he has no regrets about returning. He sometimes thinks about the toll that it will take on his body five or 10 years down the road.
"I think had I not played this year, I was going to still feel the 19 years I've played for many years to come," Favre said. "I probably haven't helped myself too much this year. But I chose to play, that's part of it. As an older player, you find it harder, as we all do, to recover from certain injuries. But that's the price you pay."
Frazier said it is not an option to start Favre to keep the streak alive and then pull him for Jackson early in the game.
"Either he can go or he can't go," Frazier said. "We'd like to make that determination, and when he goes in there we're at full expectation that he'll play for four quarters. That will be the plan. We wouldn't go into it, get a start, play a couple reps and get out. No."
That's fine with Favre.
"I want to see this through and that means game and season," Favre said. "But I also don't want to jeopardize the team by just doing it for selfish reasons and I wouldn't do that. Just treat it day to day and if the streaks over this week it's over."