NFL notebook

Favre dealing with adversity

Elbow tendinitis threatens streak

Associated Press / October 14, 2010

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Brett Favre’s latest problem is his elbow.

With the NFL investigating whether he sent lewd photos of himself to a Jets game hostess while he played for the team in 2008, Favre said yesterday that his league-record streak of 289 straight starts could be in danger if the pain in his right elbow gets worse.

The 41-year-old quarterback did not practice with the Vikings, preferring to rest the tendinitis that flared up noticeably on Monday night in the loss to the Jets.

“I don’t want to play just to play,’’ Favre said. “It’s kind of a funny injury. It could flare up and get worse.’’

It’s even more adversity for Favre this season, which so far has been anything but a repeat of last year’s charmed run to the NFC title game. How bad is it? Yesterday, Minnesota TV station WCCO posted video of Favre getting hit in the groin by a stray football during a warm-up before practice started.

And the Vikings are off to a 1-3 start heading into what they call a must-win game against Dallas Sunday.

“I don’t rank them,’’ Favre said when asked how the allegations measure up to other issues he’s dealt with in his career. “I’m thrilled to be here and have an opportunity to lead this team to the Super Bowl . . . There’s still a lot of football left. I feel very confident in a lot of ways.’’

Vikings coach Brad Childress said he’s “worried about both’’ Favre’s physical condition with the elbow injury and his mental state with the investigation ongoing.

Packers hurting
Already hammered by injuries, the Packers now may be without tight end Jermichael Finley and linebacker Nick Barnett for the rest of the season.

Both had surgery this week and coach Mike McCarthy said placing them on injured reserve is “definitely’’ an option, although the team may wait until next week to make a decision.

“Getting the current players that we have on our roster healthy to win this football game [Sunday against Miami] is our focus,’’ McCarthy said.

Finley hurt his right knee in last Sunday’s overtime loss at Washington, and Barnett hurt his left wrist in a victory over Detroit a week earlier.

There were 14 players listed on the Packers’ injury report yesterday — including quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is recovering from a concussion and did not practice.

Holmes denies report
Santonio Holmes denied that he told a former sports agent during a recruiting visit five years ago that he was already taking money from another agent during his college career.

Josh Luchs told Sports Illustrated for its Oct. 18 edition that he paid more than 30 players from 1990-96, including many who didn’t sign with him. The Jets wide receiver, one of the more prominent players named in the story, insisted he and Luchs never had a meeting.

“I don’t know him,’’ Holmes said. “I’ve never met him. Don’t care to know him.’’

“I’m in my fifth year in the NFL, I’m a Super Bowl MVP,’’ added Holmes, in his first season with New York after four seasons in Pittsburgh. “I have not been to the table to take any money from anybody, from any team, and I asked to take money from a guy that I don’t even know? Seriously? That’s self-explanatory.’’

Merriman on IR
Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman was placed on IR because of a calf injury and a “minor-injury designation,’’ meaning he must be released once he’s healthy.

Technically, the Chargers could re-sign Merriman, but that almost certainly won’t happen, because general manager A.J. Smith hasn’t been a fan of Merriman’s celebrity-leaning lifestyle.

Merriman had 39 1/2 sacks in his first three seasons. He’s had only four in the three seasons since due to injuries.

Merriman, who’s been on the trading block for some time, declined to comment when contacted via e-mail.

However, a publicist released a statement in which Merriman was quoted as saying, “I am approaching this situation as an opportunity to grow as a player and to bring my leadership and talents to a new organization.’’

McNeill agrees to deal
Chargers left tackle Marcus McNeill has agreed to a five-year contract extension through 2015 believed to be worth $48.5 million, with $24.5 million guaranteed. McNeill said after practice that the sides were still tweaking the deal and that he expected to sign it today. His agent, Alvin Keels, and the team later announced the sides had agreed. McNeill will make his season debut Sunday at St. Louis. Wanting a long-term deal and unhappy about his restricted free agent status, McNeill held out through training camp and the first two games . . . Jets coach Rex Ryan will decide whether Darrelle Revis will play at Denver Sunday after saying he mistakenly allowed the star cornerback to make that determination for Monday night’s game. “I had complete confidence that he could play in the game,’’ Ryan said. “That’s why he was out there. But the fact that when I said it was going to be his decision whether he plays, I think that’s wrong because his decision is, he’s going to play. That’s just him being a competitor.’’ . . . Eagles defensive tackle Broderick Bunkley will skip surgery after hurting his elbow last Sunday in San Francisco and try to make it back on the field in a few weeks . . . Raiders quarterback Bruce Gradkowski sat out practice with an injured right shoulder that could sideline him for Sunday’s game against the 49ers. Jason Campbell is approaching this week as if he will start . . . The Vikings signed veteran cornerback Frank Walker after placing starting corner Cedric Griffin on IR after sustaining a right knee injury Monday . . . The Browns traded Jerome Harrison to the Eagles for Mike Bell in an exchange of running backs.

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