Based on his four-touchdown performance in Sunday's 38-21 win over the San Diego Chargers, it might appear that Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre doesn't need to waste another moment thinking about his injured throwing hand.
But eight weeks removed from sustaining a hairline crack in his right thumb in a loss to the St. Louis Rams, Favre says that the pain hasn't gone away.
"It would be easy for me to sit here and say, after I threw the ball the way I did (against the Chargers), that it feels great," Favre said of his thumb Sunday. "It doesn't feel any different than it did last week."
But over his 13-year NFL career, pain hasn't been much of an obstacle for Favre, who played in his 205th consecutive game -- playoffs included -- over the weekend.
Broken thumb and all, Favre connected with nine different receivers against the Chargers for 278 yards.
For the 28th time in his career he led his team from behind in the fourth quarter.
But if the 8-6 Packers are to make the playoffs, they'll have to do so with a bandaged quarterback.
Favre said Sunday that the swelling has reduced in his injured thumb in recent weeks, but he's not prepared to part with the stabilizing splint that has been secured to the back of his thumb since late October.
"Basically what (team physician Dr. Patrick McKenzie) has told me is, 'Hey, whenever you feel like you can take it off, go with it,'" Favre said. "I thought this being the eighth week (removed from the injury) that I'd definitely have it off by now.
"But as many things as I've had to overcome in my career ... I'm very reluctant to take (the splint) off. (The thumb) bothers me that much."
To watch Favre against the Chargers, you wouldn't have known it.
On the day he broke Cecil Isbell's franchise record by throwing a touchdown pass in his 23rd consecutive game, Favre posted a passer rating of 122.2.
It was a standout performance in the face of doubters, who in recent weeks theorized that the way to shut down the Packers offense was to limit running back Ahman Green and keep the ball in Favre's hands.
"If you want to load up and take away the run and give the ball to Brett, you go right ahead," center Mike Flanagan said. "He didn't get those MVPs and Super Bowls just because he's a good looking guy."
Joked Favre of his critics after the game: "I don't blame them. You know, I'm old and washed up."
Not quite, said offensive guard Mike Wahle.
"They've been saying that for the last couple weeks and he's been burning them for the last couple weeks," Wahle said. "So keep talking. I don't know why you'd ever want to say anything bad about that guy. That's absolutely idiotic to challenge him in any way if you're an opponent because he just steps up."
Packers wide receiver Javon Walker underwent an MRI Monday on his injured left knee, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said.
Walker returned to Sunday's game against the Chargers after bruising his knee on the game's opening possession, but Sherman said Walker experienced some tightness afterward.
"It's precautionary, but a concern as well," Sherman said of Walker's MRI. "He finished the game, he was fine. But his knee locked up on him on the bus, so I have some concern there."
Meanwhile, cornerback Mike McKenzie, who was identified as having sprained his ankle against the Chargers, actually has a case of turf toe on his right foot.
Although McKenzie returned to the game, Sherman said the defensive back is unlikely to practice early this week.
"To his credit, he was able to finish the game," Sherman said. "I don't know if many guys could have under those conditions. But he did. Fortunately for us, we play on Monday night and hopefully that thing will be settled down by that time."
Tight end David Martin injured his little finger and may need to wear a splint for the remainder of the season.
Fan votes are in, player and coach votes soon will be as well, and Pro Bowl squads will be announced Thursday.
But Sherman was mum Monday in regard to which of his players he felt deserved the post-season trip to Hawaii.
"I'm asked that question every year and I've avoided that every year," Sherman said. "I love the Pro Bowl and what it stands for, but I hate it in the sense that really good players are eliminated from it. It's not always fair."
Six Packers players were selected to the Pro Bowl last year: wide receiver Donald Driver, Favre, tight end Bubba Franks, Green, guard Marco Rivera and safety Darren Sharper.