Sports

Vikings’ Favre Plans To Play If Healthy

Minnesota Vikings Brett Favre fans visit with other Vikings fans outside the team's practice facility at the NFL team's football training camp Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010 in Mankato, Minn., amidst a day of reports that Favre was retiring. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Minnesota Vikings Brett Favre fans visit with other Vikings fans outside the team’s practice facility at the NFL team’s football training camp Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010 in Mankato, Minn., amidst a day of reports that Favre was retiring. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) Ready for another flip-flop? Brett Favre is planning to play for the Minnesota Vikings this season if his surgically repaired ankle allows it.

Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Favre’s agent, Bus Cook, both said Wednesday that the veteran quarterback plans to play if he is healthy. He had surgery on the ankle in May.

Bevell has been close friends with Favre since he was his quarterbacks coach with the Green Bay Packers.

“I know it’s a decision that he wrestles with,” Bevell said after Wednesday morning’s practice as Favre was throwing the ball around with high school students in Mississippi. “He’s a great player. He’s a great competitor. He mulls things over. He’s an emotional guy. So he thinks things through long and hard and takes his time with his decision. So I’m not surprised that things started to come out. We just have to wait and see.”

Bevell said he has spoken to the 40-year-old quarterback recently, but not in the last 24 hours. He said it’s been his understanding that if Favre’s ankle heals well enough, he will return to play for the Vikings this season.

“That’s what I’ve been getting all along,” Bevell said.

Cook said Favre will visit his surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, next week for an evaluation.

“He’s working out really hard and everything seems to indicate that if he is healthy and can contribute and play at the level that he has become accustomed to, he will play,” Cook said.

The two-year contract Favre signed last year calls for him to make $13 million this season and Cook said he has not begun negotiations on any adjustments to the contract.

Outside Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, Miss., Favre told reporters his decision is “not about the money.” He also said he has been in touch with the team and “they know what’s going on with me.”

On Tuesday, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that Favre had contacted teammates and team officials to tell them his ankle was not healing and that he wasn’t going to return for a second season in Minnesota. Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe confirmed the report, saying Favre “told a couple guys on our team he’s going to retire.”

Shiancoe said Wednesday he still had not heard from Favre directly and declined further comment.

Like the rest of the league, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he was taking a “wait and hear” approach to the latest twist in the Favre saga.

“Brett Favre is great for our game. And I think the passion he has for the game is extraordinary,” he said. “I think we all love to see him play, but we want him to do what’s best for him at the end of the day.”

Favre has considered retiring every summer since 2002. It led to an ugly parting with the Packers that got him traded from Green Bay to the Jets in 2008. After a so-so season in New York, he announced his retirement in early 2009 for the second time, then reconsidered and signed with the Vikings.

He had one of his best seasons last year, with career bests in completion percentage (68.4), quarterback rating (107.2) and fewest interceptions (7), while throwing for 33 TDs and 4,202 yards to lead the Vikings (12-4) to an NFC North title. He hurt his left ankle in the NFC championship loss to the New Orleans Saints and had arthroscopic surgery in May.

“He is an emotional guy. He does tell you how he’s feeling. He is very honest,” Bevell said. “That’s what I love about him and that’s what a lot of people love about him. Sometimes it serves him well, sometimes it doesn’t.”

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AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich in Washington and AP freelancer Tyler Cleveland in Hattiesburg, Miss., contributed to this report.

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