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Favre Confident He'll Be Fine


Quarterback Brett Favre is still feeling tingling in the last two fingers of his throwing hand, and as of Wednesday afternoon he can't throw the football exactly how he'd like to.

But he says there's no pain in his elbow, and he expects to play on Monday night at Seattle and keep his consecutive starts streak in tact.

"At this point I'm confident I'll be OK," Favre said at his news conference.

Favre took a shot to the ulnar nerve in his right elbow while getting sacked last Sunday against New England late in the second quarter and missed the rest of the game.

Favre revealed on Wednesday that his elbow was knocked by the cast on Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi's right hand. With Tully Banta-Cain holding Favre's legs, Bruschi finished the sack with an upper body tackle. Television angles didn't show Bruschi's casted hand hitting Favre's elbow and only showed the elbow hitting the ground as Favre went down.

"There was nowhere to go, and I just saw him coming and tried to protect the ball, and when he came in, the cast on his right hand caught me just perfect on the nerve," Favre said.

"The cast kind of makes more sense, because otherwise I thought it was like he poked me or a knuckle or something caught me. As bad as it felt I figured he had to break a knuckle or something, but he had a cast on his hand."

Favre said he wanted to come back in, particularly because the injury wasn't painful, but when he tried to make a couple of throws during halftime he simply couldn't get a strong enough grip on the ball.

"I just said there's no way," Favre said. "As much as I would love to go in and play, I'm going to make a bad situation worse. That was very difficult because mentally I felt fine.

"Today, it feels better. There is a bruise, and a little swelling. But as far as the pain goes, this is as minor an injury as I've had to even question whether or not I would play."

Sunday marked only the sixth time during Favre's streak of 231 consecutive starts (251 including playoffs) that he couldn't finish a game due to injury.

Interestingly, three of the previous five times, Favre had extra time to heal for the next game, just like he has one extra day this week with the Seattle game on Monday night.

In 2002 (knee) and 2004 (concussion), the games in which he was injured came right before the bye week. Also, in 1994 (hip), his injury came on a Thursday night game, and the Packers didn't play again until the following Monday night, 11 days later.

"I've been through this, not this type of injury, but I have been through this before," Favre said. "I think it's good we have an extra day for it to heal as well as to rest."

Favre said the tingling running down from the elbow nerve makes it feel as though his ring and pinky fingers are "asleep" or "thawing out."

By Monday, he's hoping they either wake up or thaw out completely. But unlike a muscle injury, Favre can't do anything to strengthen it or make it heal any faster or stronger. He simply has to take a wait-and-see approach.

Favre participated in the opening jog-through portion of practice on Wednesday to get a look at the initial installation of the game plan but sat out the rest of the workout.

"There's no doubt the damage or soreness is with the nerve, and unlike a hamstring or a groin or whatever, you can't strengthen a nerve back up," he said. "We're just more playing it by ear and seeing if day to day makes it a little bit better. We're being a little more cautious with it than we would with, say, a muscle injury."

{sportsad300}Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Saturday would probably be the key day to try to have Favre practice if things continue to improve.

"I've been saying all along, just with his track record, I'll be surprised if he doesn't go Monday," McCarthy said.

If he does, it would continue Favre's ironman streak, a record for an NFL quarterback. Favre ranks the streak as the top accomplishment of his career, but not just because of the many injuries he has played through over his 15 years in Green Bay.

"I think more than the fact that I've played in every one of them physically, you have to play at a high enough level for them not to replace you," Favre said. "Yeah, there's been games where I've struggled and stretches where I didn't play up to par, but here we are 15 years later and I've played every game.

"More times than not I've given this team a chance to win and they've always felt confident with me as a starter, and I think that's as important as anything."

Favre has never concerned himself with records, but if he does play in the Packers' final six games, he would have a realistic chance to break Dan Marino's career record of 420 touchdown passes. With 409, Favre needs 12 to set a new mark, meaning he'll need two in every game from here on out.

But even as proud as he is of his ironman streak, Favre said he would never take the field just to keep it going or to try to break any records if playing through an injury was going to hurt the team.

"I'm as proud of the fact that I've played in every game as anything," Favre said. "Statistics and all those things come with playing, and I think that's just icing on the cake, all the other things.

"I would hope I wouldn't put this team in jeopardy by just doing it for selfish reasons. I want to make the right decisions, but I want to help this team win, give us the best chance to win."

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