Look for Favre to at least start Monday

Brett Favre addressed the media today at Lambeau Field and provided an update on his injured right arm. PackerReport.com's Todd Korth was there and explains why Favre will at least start the game against the Seahawks on Monday Night Football, but may not finish it:

This much we know about Brett Favre's powerful right arm: It's still hurting. The star quarterback sustained nerve damage when he crashed to the ground after getting whacked by linebacker Tedy Bruschi Sunday at Lambeau Field. Favre said today that he has regained some feeling in his elbow and fingers, but it is still difficult for him to grip a football, which raises a big question:

Will Favre be able to hold the ball well enough to at least start against the Seahawks, and perform without the ball flying out of hands like they are covered with butter? Answer: Yes and maybe.

Fortunately for Favre and the Packers, they do not play until Monday night in Seattle, which will buy Favre a little more time to regain the feeling in his right hand. And fortunately, Favre has larger than normal hands. All this gives him a better chance of extending his already remarkable record starting streak for quarterbacks of 251 straight games (including playoffs).

"It is Wednesday and this point I'm not that concerned, although, in saying that that's playing with a broken thumb and torn knee ligament and sprained ankle, and so on and so on," Favre said. "That was very difficult, but this is different. At least with a broken thumb, I could feel the ball. It was painful, but I could feel the ball. I am concerned about that, but it's only been three days since the injury. I don't think there are any certain guidelines you go through in something like this. It's kind of an odd deal. At this point, I feel confident I'll be OK."

Favre said the last two fingers on his right hand are still tingly. "It kind of feels like my fingers are asleep, or they're falling out," he said.

Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski said on ESPN that he sustained a similar injury during his football career and was forced to sit out the next game because he was unable to grip the ball. Jaworski held the record for consecutive starts by a quarterback before Favre broke it in 1999. There's a chance that Favre may run into that same problem Jaworski had, though, he appeared optimistic at his press conference that he'll overcome the injury.

Judging by Favre's track record and his pain threshold, it certainly seems that he will be ready to go physically against the Seahawks and his former coach Mike Holmgren.

If there is one motive for Favre, other than to help the Packers get back on the winning track, it is to start. Of all the records Favre has established in his Hall of Fame football career, the streak is the one that he hangs his hat on. Favre's arm may not be 100 percent back to normal by Monday night, but his will to start will help him do everything he can to get a grip on the football to at least begin the game. If it appears obvious that he cannot go on, look for either Ingle Martin or newly acquired Todd Bouman to step in and take over.

Favre talked about his consecutive games started streak today and emphasized where it ranks among the records he has set with the Packers and in the NFL.

"I would say first," Favre said. "I think it's an unbelievable thing to play that many games, but I think more than I've played in every one of them physically, you have to play at a high enough level for them not to replace you. I think there have been some games where I've struggled and stretches where I didn't play up to par, but here we are 15 years later and I've played every game. More times than not, I've given this team a chance to win, and they've always felt confident with me as a starter. I think that's as important as anything. Yeah, you have to overcome some injuries and play through some, but you also have to play well on a consistent basis because they'll replace you, and they do all the time. But up to this point, I've been pretty reliable and I'd like to think I've given this team a chance to win. I'm proud of the fact that I've played in every game as much as anything. Statistics and all those things come with playing. I think that's just icing on the cake. The fact that I've played in every game is amazing. You'd think in every day life you would trip and fall, or something. Miss a game, or catch the flu, like Cliffy (Chad Clifton, Oct. 22 vs. Miami) did. Something would happen. Up to this point I've survived."

Yes, Favre is close to catching Dan Marino for most career touchdowns and wins. He's not far away from 5,000 completions in his NFL career. But starting Monday night against the Seahawks is his top priority this week. Look for Favre to begin the game and, with a little luck, be able to finish and lead the Packers to a victory. That would be enough for another chapter in his legendary career.

Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report. E-mail him at packrepted@aol.com.

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