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Favre struggling with shoulder injury; status still unknown

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Brett Favre's sprained throwing shoulder makes it difficult for him to put on a shirt or pull on his socks, so the 41-year-old Minnesota Vikings quarterback will wait a few days before he decides about playing against the New York Giants on Sunday.

Favre said Wednesday that he is unsure if he will be able to extend his NFL record for consecutive games started. He hopes a few more days of rest will provide some clarity for him to make a decision by Friday, but Vikings interim coach Leslie Frazier said he wouldn't be surprised if it goes right up until game time.

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Favre has started in 297 consecutive regular-season games, a record he cherishes more than any other he has achieved over the past 20 seasons. But if that mark ends Sunday, Favre insisted he is fine with that.

"It really hasn't crossed my mind this week that I've got to get out there to keep the streak going," Favre said. "I think the most important streak right now is we've won two in a row."

Favre didn't practice Wednesday and said it was unlikely that he would get much work in this week. He has played through numerous injuries throughout his career to keep the remarkable streak going, a reputation for toughness that has Frazier thinking that Favre will be ready to go again this week.

"Brett Favre is so, so unique when it comes to recovering from injuries," Frazier said. "I'm optimistic that he will be out there playing on Sunday."

In what he says is his final season, Favre has only reinforced his iron-man reputation. He is playing on a left foot that has two broken bones and also has played through tendinitis in his throwing elbow and injuries to his calf, neck, back and chin.

Still, Favre has thrown a league-high 18 interceptions, and his 69.6 passer rating ranks 29th in the league, ahead of just Arizona Cardinals veteran Derek Anderson and Carolina Panthers rookie Jimmy Clausen.

Favre said this injury, a sprained SC joint, is different. He has never had one like it before and isn't sure how he will recover. It happened when he was crunched by Buffalo Bills linebacker Arthur Moats in the third play of the game last Sunday and is even more significant because it is in Favre's throwing shoulder, which rendered him unable to play the rest of the game.

"I know if I pull my shirt over my head right now, I'm going to feel it," Favre said. "And if you think that way in a game: 'Ooh, if I throw this hook, it's going to (hurt), I may want to throw it to the flat first,' then I probably shouldn't play."

Tarvaris Jackson filled in for the rest of the game, throwing two touchdowns and three interceptions in Minnesota's 38-14 victory over Buffalo. If Favre cannot play, Jackson would make the start.

Frazier said team doctors and trainers are still discussing if a painkilling injection would even help Favre. A sprained SC joint is a rare injury in football, and the location -- where the collarbone meets the breastbone -- can make it more difficult to quickly rehabilitate.

Despite the beating he has taken this season, Favre still said he doesn't have any regrets about returning. He sometimes thinks about the toll that it will take on his body five or 10 years down the road.

"I think had I not played this year, I was going to still feel the 19 years I've played for many years to come," Favre said. "I probably haven't helped myself too much this year. But I chose to play, that's part of it. As an older player, you find it harder, as we all do, to recover from certain injuries. But that's the price you pay."

Frazier said it isn't an option to start Favre to keep the streak alive, then pull him for Jackson early in the game.

"Either he can go or he can't go," Frazier said. "We'd like to make that determination, and when he goes in there, we're at full expectation that he'll play for four quarters. That will be the plan. We wouldn't go into it, get a start, play a couple reps and get out. No."

That's fine with Favre.

"I want to see this through, and that means game and season," Favre said. "But I also don't want to jeopardize the team by just doing it for selfish reasons, and I wouldn't do that. Just treat it day to day, and if the streak's over this week, it's over."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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