EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — At the end of a long, difficult season, Brett Favre’s status for the Minnesota Vikings regular-season finale is in doubt.
Interim coach Leslie Frazier said Thursday that Favre hasn’t passed a post-concussion test, leaving the 41-year-old quarterback roughly three more days to gain medical clearance to play Sunday at Detroit.
Frazier said on a conference call with Detroit-area reporters the team hasn’t yet determined when Favre will be tested again, whether Thursday or Friday. Favre didn’t pass it Wednesday. Frazier added Saturday would probably be the latest the tests could be administered and that the decision on Favre’s status wouldn’t go up to game day.
“We’d love to see him play,” Frazier said. “There’s no question about that.”
The three-time NFL MVP and career record-holder in nearly every major statistical category for passing has said repeatedly this 20th season in the league will be his last. Though he’s infamously changed his mind about retirement twice before and came close to quitting this year until the Vikings persuaded him to return in mid-August, Favre has sure had the look of a guy who’s had enough.
His record of 297 straight regular-season starts was snapped two weeks ago when a sprained shoulder didn’t heal in time for him to play against the New York Giants. Then, after being ruled out of the Dec. 20 game against Chicago, Favre woke up feeling better and made a surprise start against the Bears.
He threw a touchdown pass on a sharp first drive, but in the second quarter he got knocked out when his helmet slammed against the cold turf at the University of Minnesota’s stadium during a sack. Favre hasn’t been back on the field since.
“It was one of the few times that I kind of went blank there for a while in my career,” Favre said after the game, the last time he’s spoken to reporters.
He said, in explaining his decision that night to take the risk of playing, he wanted one more chance to play in front of Minnesota’s fans.
“It has been a great run,” Favre said then. “I think my stubbornness, hardheadedness and stupidity at the time has enabled me to play for 20 years and play the way I’ve played.
“It’s just the way I’ve always approached it.”
He also said he’d be OK if his career ended that way.
“I hold no regrets,” Favre said.
Favre wasn’t cleared to play Tuesday at Philadelphia. The next day, Favre was fined US$50,000 by the NFL for failing to co-operate with its investigation of inappropriate messages and lewd photos he allegedly sent to former Jets game-day hostess Jenn Sterger.
After nearly three months of interviews, forensic analysis and further examination, the NFL said commissioner Roger Goodell “could not conclude” that Favre violated the league’s personal conduct policy based on the evidence available to him.