Thumbs up for Favre

Quarterback takes part in entire practice today

According to a few Green Bay Packers receivers, the only thing noticeably different about Brett Favre the last couple of days in practice is the splint that he wore to protect the cracked thumb on his throwing hand. Otherwise, the star quarterback threw the ball with the same velocity that he always does, meaning with a lot of zip.

"He's throwing it like the same old Brett," said wide receiver Javon Walker after practice today. "Balls were coming out like normal. It looked like there was nothing wrong with him."

Coach and general manager Mike Sherman closed practices to the media this week as the Packers prepare to take on the Minnesota Vikings Sunday night in the Metrodome. But according to players and Sherman, Favre will extend his NFL record starting streak for quarterbacks as the Packers (3-4) try to snap a two-game losing streak.

"It looks like he's good to go for Sunday," said Sherman. "There's always going to be concern because of the thumb, but he seems very encouraged as do the doctors that he'll be able to play with it."

Sherman said that Favre practiced a little bit on Wedesday, more on Thursday and took part in all of the play from scrimmage today as the team practiced inside the Don Hutson Center. Favre injured his thumb on Oct. 19 on the second play of the game when he hit the shoulder pads of guard Mike Wahle after following through on a throw. The Packers did not play last weekend because it was their bye week, and Favre did not practice on Monday when the team returned.

Just because Favre practiced the last couple of days, however, doesn't mean that his thumb is OK.

"It hurts like hell," Favre told reporters on Wednesday. "This one, I remember as if it were yesterday. I hit my thumb and I said, ‘Damn, that hurt.' And I felt something pop. but I figured stuff pops every morning when I wake up. So you just kind of get used to that.

"I'm aware of it (the injury). But I'm able to block it out enough. Every throw I made against St. Louis, it hurt after the fact. But when you get into a game, before you know it, it's over. You just kind of block it out for that two- or three-second span."

Favre is expected to play with either a splint or a heavily taped thumb against the Vikings. He has started 197 consecutive games overall and 180 straight regular season games.

Judging by the fact that he participated in the entire practice today, it's a given that Favre will extend his record streak on Sunday.

"I was thinking if it got sore today, he'd get out, but he continued the whole practice," said tight end Bubba Franks. "That lets me and his teammates know that he's going to play without a doubt."

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