Favre will play through pain

Last year about this time, the Green Bay Packers' season was thrown in peril when Brett Favre broke the thumb on his right hand during a game against the St. Louis Rams. On Sunday at Washington, Favre banged his thumb again, throwing the outcome of the game in peril.

The latest injury, however, should not put the Packers' season in jeopardy.

Packers coach/general manager Mike Sherman on Monday said Favre's latest thumb injury isn't nearly as serious as the one suffered a year ago. This time, Favre's thumb is sprained. With practice Tuesday and Wednesday before a four-day bye-week vacation, Favre should be raring to go for the Nov. 14 showdown against Minnesota.

"He sprained his thumb a little, but it's not as significant as last year," said Sherman. "I don't anticipate it being an issue for the Minnesota game. I talked to him earlier today and he said he'd be 100 percent for the Minnesota game."

Favre entered Sunday's game with a bruised right hand. He had problems gripping the ball, as the Fox broadcast showed the ball slipping from his hands during warmups. In the third quarter, as he was following through on a pass, his thumb struck the outstretched hand of a Redskins defender.

Favre tore apart the Redskins in the first half but struggled mightily after the injury, completing just 6 of 15 passes with two critical fourth-quarter interceptions that nearly cost the Packers a victory. Favre refused to blame the injury after the game, but Sherman on Monday took plenty of the blame off his star quarterback.

"I would say it probably contributed somewhat," said Sherman. "Last Friday, when Brett was 32-for-32 (passing in practice), he never really drove the ball well. He was very accurate, but he didn't have a lot of juice on the ball. He really couldn't grip the ball until Friday. I'd say that part of what happened with our turnovers and the quarterback position Sunday may have been a result of the hand."

Other than Favre, a banged-up Packers team emerged from Sunday's game relatively unscathed.

The big issues coming into the game were in the secondary. Starting cornerback Al Harris played despite a medial collateral ligament sprain and made the game-saving interception. Sherman on Monday said Harris came out of the game in good shape.

Meanwhile, starting safety Darren Sharper isn't necessarily a sure bet to be ready for the Vikings game. Sharper tested his sprained posterior collateral ligament in warmups but was declared inactive. Sharper sounded sure he would be ready despite the knee injury but Sherman took more of a wait-and-see attitude.

"I can't say for sure. I can't say that right now," Sherman said of Sharper's availability.

Two backups in the defensive backfield were injured Sunday, with safety Michael Hawthorne suffering bruised ribs and cornerback Jason Horton banging his knee. Sherman said neither injury is serious.

Pro Bowl guard Marco Rivera, who started despite a sprained right ankle that left him using crutches earlier in the week, will be one of the players who most needs this week's bye.

"Playing on that ankle as quickly as he did is not the best thing for that ankle, but I imagine the bye week will help heal that up," Sherman said.

Halfback Najeh Davenport will be busy rehabbing his nagging hamstring during the bye. Davenport has provided his usual spark returning kickoffs and was productive in his few snaps at running back Sunday.

"We're going to rehab and work him this week to try and get that thing 100 percent," said Sherman.

Backup linebacker Paris Lenon sprained the MCL during Sunday's game. Assuming Monday's MRI showed no further damage, Sherman expects Lenon to be ready for the Vikings game.

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