Favre: 'It's their decision'

Favre says he would give up playing time so Rodgers could get experience

Brett Favre is ready to wave the white flag. On the season, not necessarily his career.

The quarterback conceded Wednesday it would take a miracle for the Packers, at 2-8, not only to avoid their first losing season with him running the offense, but to return to the postseason for the fifth straight year.

"We're not, mathematically speaking, out of the playoffs. But with one loss, that will be the case," Favre said.

The Packers enter Sunday's game at Philadelphia trailing NFC North leader Chicago by five games. It's conceivable the Packers will be eliminated from the hunt for a fourth consecutive division title that day.

Since the Packers' failure to salvage at least a .500 record for the first time since 1991, when they finished 4-12, seemingly is inevitable, it begs the question:

Is it time to give Favre's heir apparent, rookie Aaron Rodgers, a shot to show what he can do in the remaining weeks?

Coach Mike Sherman gave an emphatic no to that Wednesday.

"I can't see not playing to win a game. I think that's what we're supposed to do. We're going to play to win," Sherman said. "If we were to (play Rodgers), there would be an assumption that Brett wasn't going to be here next year. I'm not making that assumption right now, unless he were to tell me that. And maybe things would change.

"But he has not demonstrated that, either by his words, by his actions or by his deeds. He's playing hard. He's as into it as I've ever seen him. He has no diminishing skills."

Favre, who has started a record 235 straight games since he came to Green Bay in a trade with Atlanta in 1992, said he wouldn't be offended if Sherman and/or general manager Ted Thompson were to decide to turn to Rodgers before the season is over.

"It's their decision. It won't hurt my feelings one way or the other," Favre allowed. "I've known throughout my career that one man doesn't make the team, no man on this team is bigger than the team itself. I understand that life goes on in Green Bay without Brett Favre, as hard as that may be to believe at times, being that I've played in every game for 14 years."

Rodgers, though, doesn't envision himself getting on the field anytime soon, unless it's for mop-up duty, which was the case for the first-round draft pick's one and only appearance as a pro, in the final quarter of a 52-3 rout of New Orleans on Oct. 9. Rodgers completed his lone pass, which was for no gain.

"Not until Brett's ready to leave will I feel comfortable taking the starting job," said Rodgers, clearly irritated by the line of questioning from a mob of reporters around his locker Wednesday.

"It's a non-issue. It's a dumb question," he replied to repeated queries about a desire to get playing time. "I'm not going to play. Brett's going to be the guy. And, until he's done playing, be it at the end of this year or next year or whenever, I'm going to be the second-stringer."

Favre has had an up-and-down season surrounded by a makeshift supporting cast, throwing for 18 touchdowns but also racking up a league-high 17 interceptions. His only healthy, reliable receiver has been Donald Driver, and he's had to hand the football off to five starting halfbacks.

Despite all of the adversity, especially the unaccustomed 2-8 record, the 36-year-old Favre asserted that he won't base his decision about whether or not to return next season on how gruesome the final ledger is.

"This season, whether we're 2-8 or 8-2, really will not play a part in my decision," he said. "I feel like I'm playing as well right now as I've played in previous years. I would love for us to be better as far as wins and losses are concerned, but there's no doubt that, physically speaking, I can still do the things I've been able to do in the past.

"In fact, I'm moving around better than I probably have in the last couple years."

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