Favre's iron man streak appears to be safe

McCarthy confirms that record 'streak is not in danger'

With the schedule once again on his side, injured quarterback Brett Favre is optimistic his incredible starting streak will remain intact.

"I think I'll be OK. Fortunately, we've got a few days off to rest to see," Favre said after the Packers' 37-27 loss at Dallas on Thursday night.

Favre suffered what the team's medical staff diagnosed Friday as a bruised right (throwing) elbow and a separated left shoulder with 10:11 left in the second quarter.

"Just to quote the medical staff, 'His streak is not in danger.' He'll be OK," head coach Mike McCarthy said Friday.

Cowboys dime back Nate Jones delivered the fateful knockdown of Favre to the Texas Stadium turf on an unblocked corner blitz that blindsided the league's only three-time MVP.

Favre lost feeling in the last two fingers of the right hand and still experienced some tingling after the game. He didn't return to the game, marking the seventh time in his run of 269 straight starts (including playoffs) since 1992 that he didn't finish a game because of injury.

"Clearly, that was my fault," Favre said of the jarring hit from Jones. "There ain't too many times in my career I can say that a guy came free and I didn't see him coming. Unfortunately, that was one of the times."

Favre suffered game-ending nerve damage to the same elbow in the second quarter of the Packers' blowout loss to New England in November last season. Green Bay didn't play again until eight days later, a Monday night game at Seattle, and Favre made the start despite having some lingering numbness in his right arm and fingers.

McCarthy was given no indication by the medical personnel Friday that Favre again incurred nerve damage in the elbow.

"It has more to do with the belly of the muscle around the elbow. It's not as severe as last year," McCarthy said.

Favre was at Lambeau Field headquarters Friday for treatment. McCarthy said Favre had started to regain feeling in his right hand.

The Packers are idle until playing host to Oakland on Dec. 9 - nine days between games. McCarthy gave the players a four-day break until they resume practice Tuesday.

Going through last year's experience with the elbow is reassuring to Favre that he'll be able to answer the bell for the next game.

"It's a little more swollen than the last time," Favre said of the elbow, "but it's in a little different area. It kind of got the nerve but not as direct as it was last time, so I think it'll be fine."

He also wasn't fretting over the separated shoulder, an injury he originally sustained in his seventh start of the ongoing streak in a game against Philadelphia in 1992 that he finished to rally the Packers to victory.

"The left shoulder, that's one of those things that you can actually shoot up and play with," Favre said.

Besides last year, Favre benefited from extended lulls between games to keep starting after suffering an ankle injury in 2005, a concussion in 2004, a broken right thumb in 2003, a sprained knee in 2002 and a bruised hip in 1994.

"Knowing Brett Favre, I think there's a great chance he'll be ready against Oakland," McCarthy said.

Likewise, Aaron Rodgers, Favre's backup, is expecting Favre to be ready to play next time out.

"He's a gamer. He's got the streak alive," Rodgers said. "So, you just get used to not taking any reps in practice and still preparing to play but knowing you're probably not going to get in."

Rodgers dazzled in relief of Favre for the last two-plus quarters Thursday. He engineered two long touchdown drives in the second and third quarters to close a 27-10 Green Bay deficit to 27-24.

The 2005 first-round draft pick completed 18 of 26 passes for 201 yards and his first career touchdown.


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