Quarterback Brett Favre returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since breaking his right thumb in St. Louis Oct. 19, tossing a few passes and testing the strength of his throwing hand.
The verdict? Thumbs up.
"It went okay," Favre said after the closed practice. "Just trial and error."
Favre suffered a hairline fracture in his right thumb when he hit guard Mike Wahle's shoulder pad after a pass during the first half in St. Louis. Favre winced, briefly held onto the hand, but declined x-rays and stayed in the game and showed no ill effects. He finished 23-32 for 268 yards and two touchdowns in one of his best statistical days of the season.
Favre will try a variety of splints and braces in the remaining days of practice before Sunday night's matchup with the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome. He said after practice that the brace felt "awkward" but didn't hamper his ability to throw the ball effectively.
Of course any talk of a Favre injury leads to talk of his Iron Man streak. Favre is listed as probable for Sunday's game, but is fully expected to make his 181st consecutive start.
"I want to play because I think I can help this team win, not because I'm trying to be a tough guy or extend some streak," Favre said.
If for any reason Favre cannot continue in the game, backup Doug Pederson would take the helm – veteran Neil O'Donnell's tryout with the team this week not withstanding. Coach Mike Sherman said O'Donnell's tryout had nothing to do with Favre's injured thumb and the timing was purely coincidental.