Notebook: Favre's elbow the issue?

Vikings quarterback Brett Favre doesn't want to use tendinitis in his elbow as an excuse, but his accuracy is off, and that killed two late drives Monday night for the Vikings.

Brett Favre said after Monday night's loss that he didn't want to use his ailing throwing elbow injury as an excuse, so neither was Brad Childress on Tuesday.

"I don't think he's going to put it off as tendinitis thing. He missed some throws he generally makes," Childress said.

But it was clear Favre's elbow was hurting him. At one point late in the game, he walked off the field after throwing a pass clutching his elbow. He also appeared to be grimacing a few times on the sidelines.

His elbow can't be blamed for his three fumbles – two of them were recovered by the New York Jets and turned into six points – but it's impossible to know how much the elbow affected his accuracy.

"I thought we got a little hotter there at the end, doing some things that you would have liked to have been able to do that you kind of had envisioned for the first half," Childress said. "That's just the way it was. It's too little, too late."

Favre threw for only 31 yards in the first half, and he called the Vikings' 51 total net yards of offense in the half embarrassing. He completed only three passes in the first 30 minutes and the Vikings didn't have any of their first nine drives go more than four plays.

By the end of the game, he finished 14 of 34 for 264 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, but even then he was sporadic. After pulling within two points, 15-13, early in the fourth quarter, his next drive ended when he was inaccurate on consecutive passes to an open Percy Harvin.

After falling behind 22-20 on consecutive touchdowns by the Jets and Vikings, Favre needed to rally the offense one more time, taking possession of the ball with 1:48 to play. Instead, he started the drive with overthrows to Moss and Harvin and his third-down pass intended for Visanthe Shiancoe was intercepted by Dwight Lowery and returned for the final score of the game.

"You've got some open guys, we've seen him hit those open guys before," Childress said. "You're sure going to pull apart scheme and what you're doing that you want to do differently. I believe he can fix it."

Although the Vikings are trying to avoid using his tender elbow as an excuse, they will look at limiting his turns in practice and doing everything they can from a medical standpoint to make sure it's as good as it can be without sidelining him.

"I know there's many things that they can do to help that. Obviously, rest is big and not using it is big," Childress said. "Whether it's heat, whether it's (stimulus), whether it's cold, whether it's electrical current, they are doing it all and will continue to do it all."

Favre wore a sleeve during practices late last week, but he chose not wear that in the game Monday night.

The bigger question is how long the team will stick with Favre if his elbow is really the issue. At this point, it doesn't appear that Childress is ramping up to have Tarvaris Jackson practice with the starters any more than he would as a normal backup.

"All those guys are prepared every week, and Tarvaris, as I've mentioned to you before, even through last year, took way more practice snaps than anybody imagines a No. 2 would take," Childress said. "Just kind of how we're set up here. So he's got a pretty good pulse on the game plan and he gets a pretty good variety of throws and knows what's going on."

With impressive talent at all the playmaking positions, the Vikings are still ranked only 21st in passing offense and 18th overall. Is this the week it all comes together?

"God-willing," Childress said. "Yeah, that'd be a tremendous plan.

NOTES

  • Childress said Tuesday afternoon that he hadn't been contacted by the league yet about the allegations that Brett Favre sent inappropriate messages to some women working for the Jets in 2008, when Favre was playing for New York.

  • Childress revisited his decision to go for two points and attempt to tie the score at 15-15 after a Harvin touchdown with 12:47 to play. Childress said the team's lack of offensive firepower for much of the game to that point factored into his decision to try to tie the game right there.

    "The way points were coming, with how we weren't moving it particularly well … the fighting and scratching was going on, that if we were able to tie it, great," he said. "I thought we had a decent play called to tie it, but the one really to me is it's still going to take a field goal. And if we get the two, obviously a field goal would win it for us. But 15 would put us into overtime. You don't know if there's going to be more scores or anything of that nature."

    The biggest problem was that the Vikings used a valuable timeout to make the decision to go for two points.

  • The Vikings are ranked 18th in total offense (ninth rushing and 21st passing). They are ranked fifth in defense (14th against the rush and sixth against the pass).

  • It didn't take Randy Moss long to make an impact. He caught Favre's 500th touchdown of his career and Moss already leads the Vikings in yards per catch, averaging 20.3 yards per reception.

  • After holding the Jets to no touchdowns in four trips inside the red zone, the Vikings have the second-ranked red zone defense.

  • Favre remains one of the lowest-rated passers in the NFL with a 67 rating. He is ranked 30th in overall rating, 32nd in fourth-quarter rating and 27th and third-down passer rating.

  • Adrian Peterson fell to third in the league in rushing with 480 yards. Houston's Arian Foster leads the league with 562 yards on 96 carries and Tennessee's Chris Johnson has 485 yards on 113 carries. Peterson has 88 rushes.

  • Punter Chris Kluwe is second in net punting average at 41.4 yards.


    Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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