EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — Brett Favre still hasn’t been able to throw a proper pass in practice, and the Minnesota Vikings still haven’t given up hope their quarterback will extend his NFL record for consecutive starts against the New York Giants on Sunday.
Favre did minimal work in practice Friday for the first time all week, making a few soft tosses to test out the sprained SC joint in his throwing shoulder. He is listed as questionable on the injury report and will be a game-time decision on whether he will make his 298th straight regular-season start.
Interim coach Leslie Frazier said Favre wanted to test out his throwing motion more than anything on Friday and that the 41-year-old will have to show the team he can make all the throws during a pregame workout Sunday to get clearance to play.
“We would have to see him make some of the throws he’d have to make in the game, and he understands that,” Frazier said. “So, we’ll take a look on Sunday morning and see.”
Favre was unavailable to reporters Friday, but said earlier this week he does not want to compromise the Vikings’ ability to beat the Giants in order to keep his streak alive, no matter how much pride he takes in the achievement.
Frazier also said the only way Favre will play is if he can protect himself, make all the throws and play the entire game. Giving him a snap or two at the beginning of the game to keep the streak going is not an option. The team is still considering giving Favre a painkilling injection to help him through it.
Receiver Percy Harvin is listed as doubtful with migraines that have kept him away from the team facility for more than a week, including last weekend’s game against Buffalo.
“It’s going to be touch-and-go,” Frazier said. “We’re going to talk again (Friday). But it’s going to be very, very difficult to get him up to speed. But we’ll see.”
Left guard Steve Hutchinson (broken right thumb), defensive end Ray Edwards (sprained right ankle) and third-string quarterback Joe Webb (hamstring) all are listed as questionable. Cornerback Chris Cook (knees) and safety Tyrell Johnson (knee) are out.
Favre was injured on the third play against Buffalo last Sunday when Bills linebacker Arthur Moats blindsided him and drove him into the turf. He watched the rest of the game from sideline and did not practice Wednesday or Thursday.
“The type of guy he is, the only (way he’s not) on the field is if the sky’s falling,” Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said.
The Giants (8-4) boast one of the best defenses in football and are tied with the Packers for the league lead in sacks.
If Favre cannot play, Tarvaris Jackson will start. He completed 15 of 22 passes for 187 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in the 38-14 victory over the Bills last weekend. Jackson said he got almost all of the reps in practice this week and is ready to go if Favre can’t make it.
“I’m ready to play,” Jackson said. “Regardless of what happens, I’m ready to play football.”
Jackson was a second-round draft pick in 2006 and former coach Brad Childress tried to groom him as the quarterback of the future. But inconsistent play led the Vikings to bring in Favre last year and coax him back in August for one more season.
“I mean this whole situation has been a difficult situation,” said Jackson, in the final year of his contract. “I’m not going to even sit here and act like it hasn’t. It’s been a difficult situation, but I just try to make the best out of it.
“It’s a privilege to be in this league and I’m not promised anything. So I just try to come out here and be the best player I can be and the best teammate I can be.”
Favre has played through countless injuries over the last 18 years, never moreso than this season when he has struggled with two broken bones in his left foot, 10 stitches in his chin from a hit against the Patriots, tendinitis in his throwing elbow and calf, back and neck soreness.
“Brett Favre, as you guys know, is a special, special player and he’s done it time and time again, sometimes without all the parts,” Frazier said. “And in a lot of ways this wouldn’t be a lot different. He’s succeeded against all odds so many times, so I don’t count him out …”