Break comes at good time for Favre

Brett Favre's thumb may be broken, but not his desire to play football. Therefore, count on the star to extend his NFL-record starting streak for quarterbacks when the Green Bay Packers return to action after their upcoming bye week.<p>

I don't see any reason why I shouldn't be playing," said Favre. "I always figured if the bone isn't sticking out of the skin, you can play. That's what they made tape for. Maybe I'm different, but I feel like I should play."

Favre suffered a hairline fracture on the thumb of his throwing hand during Green Bay's 34-24 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. Favre injured his thumb on his second pass attempt of the game when he hit guard Mike Wahle's shoulder pads during his follow-through. He went on to pass for 268 yards and two touchdowns for a 104.7 passer rating, his third best of the season.

Fortunately for Favre and the Packers, Green Bay does not play until Nov. 2 in Minnesota against the Vikings. While the bone will not totally be healed at that time, Favre is hoping the swelling will subside enough to allow him to grip the ball properly. He did not practice with the team yesterday or today. Coach and general manager Mike Sherman is giving the players a four-day break, beginning Thursday. It is uncertain if Favre will practice next Monday when the team begins its preparation for the Vikings.

"I don't want to aggravate it any more than I need to," Favre said. "I'd like to practice. I'd like to throw some to see how effective I can be, then just kind of play it by ear from that point," said Favre, who has started 180 straight regular season games. "It's kind of a wait-and-see deal right now on how much I do."

Favre said he knew he injured his thumb early on against the Rams, but he didn't think it was broken until he saw X-rays the next morning.

In 1999, Favre sprained the same thumb during an exhibition game against Denver. Favre continued to play, but the thumb affected his ability to throw the ball accurately and, at times, velocity. Favre says his current injury is not as severe as in 1999, and doesn't feel it will affect the way he plays.

"That was a different injury, it wasn't broken," Favre said. "... At least here I have half a thumb. Then I had no thumb, really.

"How much different this will be, I don't know. I thought I threw the ball well in the game and made some plays. It hurt like hell, but I still was effective enough that no one knew."

The fracture is expected to take four to six weeks to completely heal. Favre said he didn't know if he would be able to play this weekend, if the Packers didn't have an open date.

"The best way to put it is, I'm glad I don't have to find out," Favre said. "If there is a positive, it's that I finished the game."

Expect Favre to start the next one as well.

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