NFL notebook

Favre hints shoulder is ailing

QB says return in '09 uncertain

Associated Press / December 25, 2008
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Brett Favre's rocket right arm might be running out of steam.

The 39-year-old quarterback insisted he hasn't decided whether he'll return to the New York Jets next season, but he said the health of his shoulder could be a factor.

"I think the ending physical, or whatever, that every player goes through after the last game will kind of maybe shed some light on some things," he said. "So we'll see."

Favre has struggled for several weeks, with one touchdown and six interceptions in New York's last four games, three of them losses. His arm strength doesn't appear to be what it was earlier this season, and that has led to speculation his right shoulder may be ailing. Favre did little to dispel that notion.

"During the course of the year, there was numerous times where I'd been asked about my shoulder and it had been hit a couple of times," Favre said. "I don't know. I mean, just knowing my body, there may be something, but there's no test yet to reveal anything."

Favre said he hadn't yet had the shoulder examined but will after the season - whether that's after Sunday's game against Miami or after the playoffs, if the Jets make it.

Coach Eric Mangini said he would like to have Favre back next year. Favre said he and Mangini haven't yet spoken about it and he's only focused on playing the Dolphins. The Jets need to win Sunday and hope either the Patriots or Baltimore loses to make the playoffs.

"Do I see myself playing here next year?" Favre said. "I didn't see myself playing here this time last year. There's some things that obviously the team probably needs to think about as far as next year and some things that I need to think about."

Dolphins hurting
The Dolphins began preparations for Sunday's showdown against the Jets without two defensive starters.

Linebacker Channing Crowder and cornerback Will Allen were held out of practice but stretched and jogged on the side.

"It's just day-to-day," coach Tony Sparano said. "We've got to see how they feel."

Crowder, second on the Dolphins in tackles, missed Sunday's game at Kansas City with a stiff knee. In his absence, Miami gave up a season-high 492 yards. Allen, who pulled up limping at one point during the game, has a groin injury.

Edge to Singletary?
San Francisco interim coach Mike Singletary acknowledged meeting with the team's top officials about his future earlier in the week, and that future appears bright. The Sacramento Bee reported Singletary laid out a plan for the 49ers that wowed the club's leadership, which could announce Singletary's appointment to the full-time job early next week. "I will just say this: I don't interpret anything as . . . really good or really bad," said Singletary, whose club has won four of its last six to improve to 6-9. "I think the most important thing is that I just continue to stay focused." Singletary took over for Mike Nolan Oct. 20 . . . Tired of answering questions about his future with the Philadelphia Eagles, Donovan McNabb would rather get a new contract than play for a new team. "Everybody wants a new deal," McNabb said. "But, that's not why we're playing this game. We're playing this game to win and things happen. I've been answering this question the last couple of years, so I guess to eliminate that part of it, hopefully [a new contract] will happen, but we'll see." McNabb, 32, could be playing his final game with the Eagles (8-6-1) when they host the Dallas Cowboys (9-6) Sunday. The Eagles have to beat Dallas and need losses by Tampa Bay and Chicago or Minnesota to get in the playoffs as a wild card.

Panthers shorthanded
The Panthers were without both starting defensive tackles at practice, ahead of their regular-season finale against the high-scoring New Orleans Saints. Maake Kemoeatu, who missed last Sunday's loss to the Giants with a sprained right ankle, rode a stationary bike during the workout. Damione Lewis, who injured his shoulder against the Giants, also sat out. Carolina (11-4) needs to beat the Saints to clinch the No. 2 seed in the NFC and a first-round bye in the playoffs . . . The Denver Broncos signed former University of Massachusetts running back Steve Baylark . . . St. Louis Rams president John Shaw has resigned and Billy Devaney has been promoted to general manager. Jay Zygmunt, the president of football operations, resigned Monday. Shaw will be retained as a senior adviser and owner's representative . . . Bruce Gradkowski is likely to start at quarterback for the Cleveland Browns in Sunday's season finale against Pittsburgh after Ken Dorsey (ribs, concussion) did not practice . . . The Arizona Cardinals signed linebacker Victor Hobson and released tight end Jerame Tuman. Hobson started the season with the Patriots but was released at the end of training camp . . . Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer was encouraged by how his elbow reacted to a day of limited practice, leaving the him more confident he can avoid reconstructive surgery. Palmer tore a ligament and tendon in the third game of the season.

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