Favre Not Distracted By Injured Knee


Brett Favre insisted this week that there wasn't a single time he broke the huddle in Monday night's game against the Miami Dolphins and worried about his injured left knee.

If true, he's probably the only one at Lambeau Field that night who could say as much. But such is the toughness that not only allowed Favre to play in his 165th consecutive regular season game despite a sprained lateral collateral ligament (LCL), but also allowed him to play in the 164 games before that.

For Favre, there's just no time to think about what hurts. So he ignores the pain, and forgets about the risk.

"In the past when I played with injuries, that's why I've been successful," Favre said. "If you're going to play, play."

And so Favre did last week, extending in the process his NFL record for consecutive regular season starts by a quarterback.

His numbers on the night were modest by his standards: 16 of 25 for 187 yards and one touchdown. He also threw his first interception in 87 straight attempts.

It wasn't his best game of the year, but it didn't need to be. The Packers won easily, 24-10. And for the second game in a row, Favre made an early exit. Although this time it wasn't because of injury, but because the win was safely put away.

Looking back on his performance, Favre said that injury limited his speed and mobility, but not his ability to throw the football.

"I can't think of one time where I said, 'If my knee was fine, I make that play,'" Favre said.

Sunday, he hopes to be even better. Although practices were closed to the media, Packers GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman confirmed that Favre's reps were up this week compared to last.

Of course, whether that will dramatically alter how Favre plays is up for debate.

"Brett will be the first to tell you he likes to practice, he likes all the reps," Sherman said. "He likes to get his rhythm down . . . Whether he gets better with the reps, we'll see. I mean, he has a zillion reps in his body, so I can't imagine one or two more will make a big difference. But maybe it will."

Going into the Detroit game, Favre isn't as concerned about his ability to hit his targets as he is with having time to find them.

The last time the Packers met the Lions, even a healthy Favre struggled to elude the Lions' pressure. Officially, he was sacked only once, but he was knocked to the turf on a number of occasions.

"I was as beat up in that game as I was in New Orleans," Favre remembered of the September meeting at Ford Field. "I hope everyone realizes, they are a good defense . . . Their front seven is very, very, very good.

"It all boils down to pressure. If we don't handle the rush, whether it be blitz or just their (front) four guys, then what we do is restricted a whole bunch."

Favre will be reminded going into the game that in order to protect himself, he shouldn't be afraid to throw the ball away, or just go down on first contact rather than attempting to shake off a tackle.

But he was reminded of the same going into the Miami game. And for a man who has made a living off of his fearless approach, such is easier said than done.

"If I'm going to play, I'm going to play as much as the way I played before for the injury (as possible)," Favre said. "I don't think you can take a guy, any guy, and tell him, 'Okay, this is the way you always played, now you're injured -- you have to be smart. Here's how we want you to play now.'

"I just don't think it can be done. If the injury bothers you enough to where you have to think about it all the time, you shouldn't be playing."

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