Favre absorbs beating from Bears

Teammates disappointed they allowed QB to get hit so many times

A season like no other in Brett Favre's 14 years as Packers quarterback had a long list of injuries added to it Sunday.

By the 36-year-old's count in the aftermath of a 19-7 loss at Chicago, he sustained a lacerated right hand, a bruised right forearm, a blister on his left foot, sore ribs and back and an aching right shin. For good measure, he took a fall on his head.

"You kind of find out how tough you are after games like that," Favre said.

Early indications are the indefatigable warrior will pick himself back up after a few days of rest this week and start his league-record 238th straight game Sunday night against Detroit.

"I anticipate he'll be able to play at this point," coach Mike Sherman said Monday.

Nevertheless, many of Favre's teammates were aghast over the unrelenting punishment he absorbed from the Bears' top-rated defense.

"It's not the Brett we're used to seeing. That's the sad part," veteran receiver Robert Ferguson said. "He's always been able to fight through the nicks and bruises, but the nicks and bruises are more evident when you're losing.

"I'm a fan of his and a fan of the game, and I hate to see that, especially after a loss. But, he took some big shots, some shots I haven't seen him take since I've been here. I don't ever want to see him come off the field like that again."

Given all the abuse his aging body was exposed to at Soldier Field, one has to wonder whether it was the final straw in persuading Favre to call it a career after he plays the last four games of the season, which will go down as one of the worst in Green Bay's celebrated history.

Sherman reiterated Monday that playing to win is paramount the rest of the way, so he'll stick with Favre and not turn to rookie Aaron Rodgers, unless the Packers (2-10) find themselves in a lopsided game.

Favre was bloodied with the cut on the index finger of his throwing hand after he hit the helmet of a Bears lineman while following through on a 27-yard completion to tight end Donald Lee late in the third quarter. That wasn't the biggest jolt to course through Favre, however.

Earlier in the second half, safety Mike Brown broke off the left edge untouched on a blitz and drilled Favre in the ribs, resulting in a fumble that the Packers recovered.

"I hadn't worn my rib pads in about a year and a half. I thought I was going to get away with not getting smacked anymore. But I got caught good," Favre said.

In the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, Lee failed to pick up blitzing cornerback Charles Tillman, who cracked Favre from the backside and forced his second lost fumble of the game.

"He took a lot of unnecessary hits," running back Tony Fisher said. "He's a franchise player, and we let him get hit far too many times. We can't let everything fall on his shoulders. We all have to stand up and be accountable."

Perhaps more so than the physical lumps he's taken, what may convince Favre to walk away under his own power is an apparent erosion of skills. In the last six games, he's completed only 58.2 percent of his passes for 1,420 yards and five touchdowns with 13 interceptions.

For the season, he has a league-leading 21 interceptions with just 19 touchdowns and a modest passer rating of 75.9.

He prolonged a theme of recent weeks with two costly interceptions Sunday, the latter of which was returned 45 yards for a clinching touchdown by Nathan Vasher late in the game.

Favre's first miscue smacked of his stubborn insistence to try to make something out of nothing. The Bears' blitz convinced him not to throw an intended shovel pass near the goal line, and Favre flung the ball into the end zone, putting enough air under it for Tillman to pick it off and race 95 yards the other way to get Chicago in position for a go-ahead field goal before halftime.

"I was trying to throw it away," Favre said. "As I was throwing, I got hit, and I couldn't put enough on it. A huge play in the game, obviously."

Packer Report Top Stories