Sharper encouraged Favre to sign with Vikings

The irony is thick when it comes to Darren Sharper facing the Vikings for the NFC Championship. He is obviously facing his former teammates with the Vikings and a former Packers teammate in Brett Favre, a guy he encouraged to sign with Minnesota.

There's a little more irony that meets the eye as far as Saints free safety Darren Sharper is concerned as he prepared this week for Sunday's NFC Championship Game with the Minnesota Vikings.

Naturally, Sharper was excited about going against the team he played for from 2005-08 before the Vikings allowed him to walk in free agency last March.

And he relished the thought that he and old teammate Brett Favre, whom he played with from 1997-2004 in Green Bay, would be facing each other once again with so much at stake — especially after he urged his friend to give it one more shot.

"It's funny how it can transpire that we have a chance to meet each other to go to the Super Bowl," Sharper said this week. "I had a chance to talk to him when he was thinking about going to Minnesota, and I told him, ‘Listen, if you go there, you guys have a Super Bowl-caliber team. You have all the pieces in place.'"

Little did Sharper know that he and Favre would wind up in the same building, which they will when the Saints and Vikings meet in the Superdome on Sunday.

More irony comes from the fact that Sharper played in Super Bowl XXXII as a rookie, only to have the Denver Broncos spoil the part — just one year after Favre and the Packers beat the New England Patriots.

It only took Sharper 12 more years to reach the NFC Championship Game, which he laughed about earlier in the week.

"Being a naive rookie and playing in the Super Bowl my rookie year and having Brett Favre, them (winning) the year before, you're thinking, ‘Oh man, this is gonna be easy,'" he recalled. "So I was thinking I would have plenty of chances to get back there. But until now, I'm like Dan Marino.

"Hopefully, I can get back there."


  • TE Jeremy Shockey did not practice again on Thursday because of a right knee injury and his status for Sunday's NFC Championship Game was unknown.

  • CB Malcolm Jenkins was held out of practice Thursday with a hamstring injury and his availability for Sunday's game with the Minnesota Vikings was not known.

  • FS Darren Sharper, who did not work Wednesday to rest a sore knee, practiced on a limited basis Thursday and should be ready for Sunday.

  • WR Robert Meachem worked on a limited basis Thursday after missing Wednesday's practice with an ankle injury, but it wasn't known if he'll be able to go Sunday.

  • LDE Bobby McCray, who has missed practice time with a back injury all season, again had full participation on Thursday.

  • C Jonathan Goodwin was added to Thursday's injury report with a knee problem, but he participated fully in practice.

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