The Vikings offense is playing through all sorts of ailments – some physical, some mental and some due to lack of practice time together.
Quarterback Brett Favre said Sunday that he received a cortisone shot to help with his throwing elbow, which has been inflamed with tendinitis for a few weeks. After the game he said the elbow felt great.
"I don't want to sit here and say 100 percent, but compared to the other night it felt great," the 41-year-old quarterback said.
Getting two days off without throwing a pass last week helped, but Favre likely won't be able to get another cortisone shot to help with inflammation for at least another month. He also said his weekly injections in the ankle, which he described as a lubricant at the beginning of the season, ended about two weeks ago. They were intended to help him after having surgery to remove bone spurs and scar tissue in May.
But the injury issues continue to rear their head during games. Favre was hit early and often in the first half of the Cowboys game. He was knocked down on more than half of his first 10 pass plays and took sacks on each of the last two drives of the first half.
"I feel like that's a broken record in here. You say he got hit a lot every week," Vikings coach Brad Childress said. "Quarterbacks get hit in this league. Tony Romo got hit a lot. There are some of those things, the continuation of plays, those guys are going to get hit. I think he took the one sack that had us in field goal range; I'd like to see him get that ball out and get it thrown away. Typically he doesn't take a lot of sacks. We're paying him enough every game; he's going to get hit."
According to the official game stats, both Romo and Favre were both hit six times.
In third quarter, he was slow to get up after a pass completion when took a shot in the abdomen that left him gasping for air.
"It was in the ribs, but it knocked the wind out of me. If you have ever gotten the wind knocked out of you, you think you're pretty close to death," Favre said. "I'm not going to sit here and say I'll be John Wayne, but I'm hoping that we didn't call a pass the next play."
Through it all, Favre survived and even admitted he was holding onto the ball too long at times. The result was only 118 yards passing, but he avoided throwing any interceptions for the first time this season after throwing seven of them in the first four games.
Favre said he needs to continue getting as many practice reps as possible to find a rhythm with the offense that has been missing most of the year.
"I don't think we're as good right now as we'll be four weeks from now. I've said that. There's no substitute for playing together and competing together and grinding together," Vikings coach Brad Childress said. "Then you come out in that mix. We're just past the quarter pole here. My big charge with these guys is just make sure you don't get mentally ill. A win will help that a lot."
Favre completed 14 of 19 passes for a touchdown and no interceptions for a 106.9 rating. The Vikings had only 188 yards of total offense.
"Other than beating ourselves with penalties, I felt like we did pretty good job of moving the ball," running back Adrian Peterson said. "You can see it in the run game, taking what they gave us, and in the pass game too. I can feel that rhythm coming."
The Vikings beat the Cowboys 34-3 during the divisional playoffs in January, but Favre said Sunday's game was more indicative of what he was expecting from Dallas in the playoffs.
"I think everyone assumed it would be a back-and-forth, a physical, whoever has the ball last or whoever has the most big plays," he said. "That's the way I thought the playoff game would go. I would have never in my wildest dreams thought we would beat them like we did in the playoffs."
Sunday's three-point win just might have kept the Vikings in the hunt for this year's playoffs.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
Favre fights through hits, gets win
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