EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — After an NFL-record 297 straight starts, 321 including the playoffs, Brett Favre has a new streak. He’ll sit out for the second game in a row.
The Minnesota Vikings declared Favre out for Monday night against Chicago, after another week without enough progress on the sprained joint between his shoulder and neck. Interim coach Leslie Frazier said Favre tried to throw before practice on Saturday, but he couldn’t do it without pain.
That means rookie Joe Webb will start against the Bears, recently signed veteran Patrick Ramsey will back him up and R.J. Archer could be elevated from the practice squad for more depth.
“Joe Webb had a good day today,” Frazier said. “He really seems as if this whole thing is not too big for him, and I’m really looking forward to watching him on Monday night.”
Favre said earlier in the week he’s looking forward to watching Webb get his opportunity and that he realizes the team needs to start developing a younger player at this critical position, sounding as if he’s prepared to have thrown his final pass. Frazier sure isn’t ready to acknowledge that, though. He again dismissed the possibility of placing Favre on injured reserve.
“The fact that he tried to do something today tells me that he has a strong desire to get back out there,” Frazier said. “It’s just, ‘Will his body let him?’ I know it’s difficult for him. Everybody knows how competitive he is.”
Frazier said the numbness Favre has been feeling in his hand has been fading and that the discomfort in his shoulder has been subsiding, stemming from the hard hit he took against the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 5 that might have ended the 41-year-old’s career.
“He’s gradually getting better,” Frazier said. “Just not enough to put him out there where he could play. Next week may be a little different, so we just have to kind of gauge it.”
The Vikings also ruled All-Pro left guard Steve Hutchinson (broken thumb) out for the third straight game, as well as backup safety Tyrell Johnson (knee), and Frazier acknowledged the possibility of placing him on injured reserve.
Star running back Adrian Peterson was back at practice Saturday, however, after sitting out the past two days as a precaution because of ankle and knee issues. He’s listed as questionable, as is defensive end Ray Edwards (ankle), who has missed the last two games. Frazier said the cold field won’t factor in to who plays and how much.
“The guys that are able to play, they’re going to play,” he said. “And if you’re injured and can’t play, the weather won’t have any factor on if you’re up or if you’re down or if you’re playing or if you’re not playing. We’re going to play the guys that are healthy and can help us to win, but we’d do the same thing if we were at the Metrodome.”
The Vikings planned to get their first feel for TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday morning for their usual day-before-the-game walkthrough. They’ll figure out what extra gear they’ll need to wear and what kind of cleats will work best, with the Metrodome unuseable for now after last weekend’s roof collapse.
“The condition looks terrific, from everything I’ve seen and heard,” Frazier said.