NFL notebook

Favre visits Vikings

Teammate: QB will play in 2010

Associated Press / August 18, 2010

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Quarterback Brett Favre returned to Minnesota yesterday, arriving in a private jet trimmed in the Vikings’ purple and gold with three teammates who were sent to Hattiesburg, Miss., to bring him back for one more shot at a Super Bowl.

This time around, Favre got a ride to Vikings headquarters from kicker and close friend Ryan Longwell — last year, when he joined Minnesota, coach Brad Childress was at the wheel.

Presumably, the 40-year-old Favre did not make the trip just to tell the Vikings he was retiring, but the team still had not been given an official confirmation that he will play this year. However, Longwell told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that Favre said he would play this season.

Giant headache
Giants quarterback Eli Manning was in some discomfort a day after receiving 12 stitches for a head wound, and his status for a game against the Steelers this weekend is uncertain. While the Giants said Manning showed no signs of a concussion after suffering a three-inch gash to his head in a 31-16 win over the Jets Monday night, the 29-year-old underwent tests to make sure he did not suffer a more serious head injury . . . Dolphins coach Tony Sparano confirmed that guard Nate Garner had surgery last week on his left foot, the same one operated on in the offseason, and has no idea how long he will be out. A source told the Miami Herald that Garner will miss at least eight weeks.

Titans waive Johnson
The Titans waived injured rookie running back Stafon Johnson, the former University of Southern California standout whose college career was ended by a weightlifting accident that crushed his neck. As soon as Johnson clears waivers, coach Jeff Fisher said the team will put him on injured reserve to keep him around the training facilities during his recovery. Johnson dislocated his right ankle and broke his fibula Saturday night in the Titans’ 20-18 loss at Seattle . . . Browns punter Dave Zastudil was placed on injured reserve after his surgically repaired right plant leg did not respond enough to rehab and rest for him to kick this season . . . Bills rookie wide receiver David Nelson is out indefinitely after being carted off the field with a right leg injury during practice. Without providing any specifics, coach Chan Gailey said, “It doesn’t look good.’’

Saints sign Betts
The Saints signed former Redskins running back Ladell Betts to a one-year deal. The 30-year-old is working his way back from major knee surgery last fall. New Orleans was searching for a veteran after Lynell Hamilton suffered a season-ending knee injury last week . . . Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was sidelined after just a few snaps at practice, apparently because he wasn’t feeling well . . . The Seahawks released former Bears running back Adrian Peterson days after signing him.

Maualuga fined
Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga has been fined two game checks by the NFL and will forfeit an additional portion of his signing bonus for 2010 for a drunk driving violation, but he will not be suspended. Maualuga was fined under the league’s substance abuse policy. He will forfeit two weeks worth of his 2010 bonus, as well. The second-year player from Southern Cal pleaded guilty to drunken driving in February and received a suspended sentence . . . Colts coach Jim Caldwell said he remains committed to Curtis Painter as Peyton Manning’s backup quarterback. Painter threw three interceptions in Sunday’s 37-17 preseason loss to San Francisco.

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