Elbow, shoulder injuries won't keep Favre out of action

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Packers quarterback Brett Favre is expected to start against the Oakland Raiders on Dec. 9 and keep alive his record streak for consecutive starts.

"Just to quote the medical staff, his streak is not in danger. He'll be OK," coach Mike McCarthy said Friday, the day after Favre was knocked out of the Packers' 37-27 loss at Dallas with elbow and shoulder injuries.

The streak, which dates to 1992, stands at 249 games (269 including playoffs) and is a league record for quarterbacks.

The 38-year-old Favre was at Lambeau Field on Friday for treatment of a bruised right elbow. He also aggravated a left shoulder separation, which he first injured 15 years ago, on a hit by blitzing Dallas cornerback Nate Jones in the second quarter.

McCarthy said the medical staff didn't indicate that Favre had nerve damage in his throwing elbow, which had been feared after the game.

"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 damaged a nerve in the same elbow against New England in November 2006 and didn't finish the game.

After the game Thursday night he said the elbow was slightly more swollen than the previous time, but in a somewhat 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 said.

He also lost feeling in the last two fingers of his right hand following the blindside hit from Jones, who was unblocked on his blitz from the left side. Favre's elbow struck Jones' helmet as he released the football, resulting in an interception.

"Clearly, that was my fault," Favre said. "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 had started to regain feeling in the hand Friday, said McCarthy, who wasn't concerned about the shoulder injury.

"I don't think it's an issue at all. That's the actual lesser of the two (injuries)," McCarthy said.

Favre had a first-degree separation of the left shoulder Nov. 15, 1992, against Philadelphia. He was able to finish what was the seventh start of his streak and rallied the Packers to a 27-24 win.

McCarthy is optimistic the extended break between games will allow the league's only three-time MVP ample time to heal.

"Anytime you have a player go down in the game and you receive the news this morning that he'll be able to play in 10 days, that's a big sense of relief, especially when it's your quarterback," McCarthy said.

During his 16-year tenure in Green Bay, Favre hasn't finished seven games in the starting streak because of injury. He's always come back to play the next game.

Favre's more notable hasty recoveries include overcoming a bruised hip in 1994, a badly sprained ankle in 1995, a sprained right thumb in 1999, a sprained knee in 2002, a broken right thumb in 2003, and a concussion and a sprained right hand three weeks apart in 2004.

"He's a gamer. He's got the streak alive," Packers backup quarterback Aaron Rodgers said after the game Thursday. "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."

The Packers have only two quarterbacks, with receiver Ruvell Martin the emergency backup.

McCarthy said Favre would have re-entered the game Thursday had something happened to Rodgers, who played well in relief the last two-plus quarters.

Rodgers directed two touchdown drives to rally the Packers from a 27-10 deficit to get within 27-24 in the third quarter.

After holding out injured defensive standouts Charles Woodson and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila to preserve them for the stretch run of the season, McCarthy hasn't ruled out giving Favre a game off against Oakland.

"That's something that we could talk about," McCarthy said. "But, we're less than 24 hours away from the actual injury. So, being on the long week, that's something we can talk about Tuesday or Wednesday."

Even Favre admitted Thursday night he can envision a game he doesn't start.

"Sure, I could. I hope this is not one of those times," he said. "I couldn't go back in the game (Thursday). Believe me, I wanted to. But, we have four days before we start back into a normal week. I anticipate being fine; I hope I am."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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