Minnesota Vikings  


Favre: Damage already done, so health won't affect decision

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Brett Favre was badly beat up during the Minnesota Vikings' overtime loss at New Orleans last January, a well-documented part of that epic NFC Championship Game.

The grandfather of NFL quarterbacks, however, doesn't sound worried about his health as it relates to returning for a 20th season.

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"Playing another year probably isn't going to make a difference. The damage has already been done," Favre told Men's Journal magazine for the issue that will go on sale Friday.

Favre and Vikings teammate Greg Lewis shared the best-play trophy at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. Favre didn't appear backstage to speak with reporters, but he did an interview with ESPN.

"I still have a little bit of time and still believe it or not [I'm] not completely healthy," Favre said. "I guess at 40 I may never be. I'm not getting any younger, but I am working hard trying to feel as best I can. Last year, I felt great. My arm was totally different than it was the year before and that made my decision a little bit easier. But we'll see.

"It starts with the ankle. This coming Friday will be eight weeks [since the surgery] and I had hoped it would be a little bit better. I can walk fine, but you don't walk in football. Then it kind of works from there up. If you wake up in the morning and your feet hurt, it kind of makes the rest of your body hurt, and if you've been sacked 700 times, that usually adds to it. It's a great football team -- I know that now, I knew it last year -- who would love to have me come play. I would love to play and be the best I could possibly be, and that's really what I'm working toward right now."

The Vikings are still waiting to learn whether or not Favre will come back, with training camp a little more than two weeks away. Favre's agent, Bus Cook, told The Associated Press in an e-mail Wednesday that he didn't have an update on the quarterback's status.

"Nothing yet," Cook said.

In the meantime, the waiting game continues.

"I really couldn't get a read on whether he's coming back or not," Lewis told reporters. "I hope he comes back. It was great playing with him. He's a great person as well. He's just fun to hang around."

In the wide-ranging interview with Men's Journal, Favre also explained his thought process on the fateful fourth-quarter interception against the Saints in that NFC title game, an on-the-run pass that was forced into tight coverage. Favre said he and Sidney Rice connected on the same play the previous week against the Dallas Cowboys, expecting the receiver to come back toward him.

"As a player, you've got to pull the trigger," Favre said. "You can't say, 'Well, is he going to do what I think he's going to do?' He wasn't wrong, and in some ways, I wasn't either."

Favre expressed the usual uncertainty about continuing his decorated, drama-filled career. He offered candid details, claiming he was so dehydrated during a comeback victory over the San Francisco 49ers that he went 13 hours without urinating.

Favre also spoke proudly about his exceptional first season with Minnesota in which he threw 33 touchdown passes and just seven interceptions, wondering aloud whether he could repeat that feat.

"I've had games when I almost threw seven picks," Favre said. "It was unreal. Before last year, I'd reached a point where I was sitting in meetings with guys 15 years younger than me thinking, 'What the hell am I doing here?' Football became work. But last year it went back to being a game."

Favre said he did doubt his decision to unretire for a second consecutive year and sign with the Vikings, even as he was making the commitment.

"I was driving into training camp and I'm saying, 'God, what was I thinking,'" he said. "I thought, 'This is a mistake.'"

As for whether he'll be on the field again this coming season?

"You'd think I'd know better by now," Favre said. "I've learned a lot through the years. What I haven't learned is what I'll do and when I'll do it."

Favre also revealed aspects of his standoff with Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy. The Packers traded Favre to the New York Jets in 2008 after the quarterback changed his mind about retirement the first time.

"There was just silence," Favre told the magazine. "I said, 'Well, what are we gonna do?'

"They made it pretty clear I wasn't going to play there, and I said, 'How about the Vikings or even the Lions?' I wanted to stay in the same division. They said that wasn't going to happen, but maybe Tampa. I said, 'Fine, trade me to Tampa. I'll whip your asses in Week 4,'" Favre stated. "Maybe that was a mistake. I'm flying back to Hattiesburg thinking I'm going to the Bucs, and I get off the plane and Bus tells me I've been traded to the Jets. I said, 'Bull,' but they were smart; they released the news so I'd look like an ass if I backed out."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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