NFL notebook

Favre refuses to rule it out

He skips practice, remains hopeful

Associated Press / October 28, 2010

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Brett Favre is not ruling himself out of Sunday’s game against the Patriots despite two fractures in his left ankle.

The 41-year-old Favre wore a large walking boot on his left leg to the podium for his regular news conference yesterday in Eden Prairie, Minn., saying he doesn’t anticipate participating in a full practice this week. He spent the day in the training room instead.

Favre says he has always had a knack for healing quickly, which gives him hope he’ll be back when the Vikings (2-4) play the Patriots (5-1).

“I would love to play, for no other reason but I’m in this, committed to this team,’’ Favre said. “I’d love to get this back on track and be a part of it, and more than anything function at a level that gives us a chance to win. That’s basically it.

“If not, Tarvaris [Jackson] will do a great job. I have no doubts whatsoever. But I would love to be able to try and do it.’’

Coach Brad Childress kept the option open, too.

“I wouldn’t put it past him. He’s going to make the push, like a lot of these guys do,’’ Childress said.

Since taking over as the starter for the Packers in 1992, Favre has played through pain — including a broken thumb and a badly sprained foot — and not once has he sat out. His NFL-record streak is at 291 consecutive games started, 315 including the playoffs.

“I’m very proud of the streak, but it probably should have ended a long time ago,’’ Favre said. “Whether it ends this week or it ends at the end of the year . . . I will always be proud of it.’’

Childress, too, said he wouldn’t factor in the streak as part of the decision on whether Favre will play, but the coach was adamant that he won’t let him go out there if he looks gimpy.

“I’m going to need to see some movement skills, to see that he can do that,’’ Childress said.

Favre was hurt in last Sunday’s loss to Green Bay, and an MRI revealed a stress fracture in the ankle as well as an “avulsion’’ fracture in the heel bone, where a fragment has been torn away by a tendon or ligament. He doesn’t need surgery, and he said after consulting with doctors he’s confident he can’t make the injury worse by playing.

“Mentally I think I can do it. I’ve done it before. Will it hurt? I’m sure it will,’’ Favre said. “I know I’ll keep an open mind about it and be smart about it. I don’t want to go out and play just to play.’’

When asked what the streak means to him, Favre, in typical contradictory fashion, touted his own feat and expressed team-first humility all in the same paragraph.

“All I can say is, ‘Wow,’ ’’ he said. “I kind of lost count a long time ago . . . If I’m able to play, I want to play the whole game and give us a chance to win.’’

As for working with Childress on the decision, Favre said: “He’s the head coach. He makes those decisions, but I would think it’ll be an open-dialogue deal.’’

Smith out, Smith in
With quarterback Alex Smith ruled out because of a separated shoulder, 49ers coach Mike Singletary said former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith will get his first NFL start against the Broncos Sunday in London.

Alex Smith is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a separated left shoulder. Singletary picked Troy Smith over David Carr, who came on against Carolina after Alex Smith was injured last Sunday, but threw an interception that led to the winning field goal for the Panthers.

“Troy Smith gives us a good opportunity to win this game,’’ Singletary said. “I talked to David Carr about it. He understands. We had a couple of conversations about it. That’s a personal thing between he and I, and I’m going to leave it there. Troy Smith is our starting quarterback.’’

Jaguars bench Harvey
Defensive end Derrick Harvey has been benched by the Jaguars after 39 games, 32 starts, and a meager six sacks. The eighth overall pick in the 2008 draft out of Florida, Harvey moved from the right side to the left side this offseason, and coach Jack Del Rio even tried to lower expectations for the defensive MVP of the 2006 Bowl Championship Series title game. But nothing Del Rio said or did made a difference. The final blow came last Sunday at Kansas City, when Harvey took the wrong angle on a running play. His miscue opened a huge hole for Thomas Jones, who scampered 70 yards to set up Kansas City’s first touchdown. Former Patriot Jeremy Mincey will replace Harvey at Dallas on Sunday. It will be Mincey’s first career start . . . Colts receiver Austin Collie (thumb surgery) and defensive tackle Antonio Johnson (knee surgery) have been ruled out for Monday night’s game against the Texans, joining safety Bob Sanders (biceps) and linebacker Kavell Conner (foot) . . . Packers linebacker Brad Jones is out for the season following a right shoulder injury that will need surgery. Jones, a seventh-round draft pick last season, was injured last Sunday. He made the tackle of Favre that left the Minnesota quarterback limping . . . The Chiefs have signed free agent linebacker Mark Simoneau, a 33-year-old who’s joining his fourth NFL team. Simoneau hasn’t played since he suffered a back injury in 2007. He has 68 starts in 123 career games . . . The Rams have signed safety Michael Lewis, who was released Oct. 1 by the 49ers after skipping a practice and a road trip, reacting to the news he had lost his starting job to rookie Taylor Mays . . . The Panthers placed reserve linebacker Jamar Williams on injured reserve with a neck injury. Williams hasn’t played since he sustained a spinal concussion against the Saints Sept. 26.

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