Mysterious State of Favre's Shoulder

Apparently, Brett Favre told Vikings coach Brad Childress one thing and ESPN's Ed Werder something different. Plus, turnovers were the key when the Packers and Vikings met last month and they've been key in explaining the teams' records.

With the future Hall of Fame quarterback presumably taking one final swing at his former team on Sunday, what we have is a failure to communicate.

Vikings coach Brad Childress on Monday said "there wasn't any concern" about quarterback Brett Favre's throwing shoulder. That's not what Favre told his friend — not Childress, but ESPN's Ed Werder.

According to Werder, Favre said he felt pain in his surgically repaired throwing shoulder while putting on a T-shirt during Saturday's practice. Werder said Favre considered taking a painkilling injection to get through Sunday's game at Chicago but elected not to do so.

"Favre said it could be a similar injury or the rotator cuff – shaved during the previous surgery – could be damaged," ESPN reported.

Childress, however, said only that Favre was in a cold tub and hoped to practice on Thursday for Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers.

Childress and Werder also had differing reports on whether Favre might consult with famed surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who performed surgery to complete the tear of his right biceps tendon in May 2009, a procedure that allowed Favre to end his retirement with the Jets and play for the Vikings. Werder said Favre was considering it; Childress said, "I don't think he's considering it, at least based on what he just told (head trainer Eric Sugerman) here right now."

Hurt badly or not, Favre had four turnovers in the loss at Chicago, though the three interceptions hardly were Favre's fault. The first was a tipped ball, and the others came when his receivers fell on the Soldier Field turf.

With the Vikings at 3-6, those on the outside are clamoring for Tarvaris Jackson to replace Favre. There's no sign of that happening, though.

"He's got enough of his faculties and doing enough things playing in the system here to give us a chance to win," Childress said. "Do you like the turnovers? I don't."

A lot of reasons

Had the Vikings beaten the Bears, they would have been 4-5 and on a two-game winning streak with a chance to get right back into the NFC North race by beating the Packers (6-3) on Sunday at Mall of America Field. Instead, they're 3-6 and three games behind the front-running Packers and Bears.

What's gone wrong?

"Oh boy, you've got to paint with a broad brush there," Childress said. "I can't just say one thing. We're doing it all together, just not playing good enough. Not doing the things, you talk about not converting third downs, you can talk about turnovers, you can talk about not being able to get off the field. It's all encompassing. And typically that's the way it is, it's not one stand-alone factor, I don't think."

Not-so-tasty turnovers

One key stat in the Packers-Vikings game on Oct. 24 was turnovers, with Green Bay finishing plus-1 for the game after picking off Favre three times.

For the season, the Packers have surged to plus-6 while the Vikings are a league-worst minus-11. While Vikings running back Adrian Peterson hasn't fumbled all year, Favre has thrown a league-high 16 interceptions.

"Turnovers hurt the flow of the game, particularly if you're going into score or if they're contributing to three points the other way," Childress said. "The turnovers yesterday wound up being directly responsible for three of the Bears' points. But obviously there are huge swings in field position where you're fighting your way from backed up to trying to get back out somewhere."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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