Favre inactive, ending streak at 297

BY Alex Marvez • December 13, 2010

The streak is over.

Brett Favre’s NFL record string of 297 consecutive regular-season starts has come to an end. The Minnesota quarterback was inactive for Monday night’s 21-3 loss against the New York Giants in Detroit.

Even with an extra day to heal, Favre was unable to play because of a shoulder injury he suffered in a Dec. 5 win over Buffalo.

''I am not going to play again if I can't feel my hand,'' Favre said Monday.

Tarvaris Jackson started for the Vikings, who at 5-8 were eliminated from playoff contention with the loss.

Favre couldn't say after the game if he would suit up again.

''That's questions I haven't thought about, to be quite honest with you,'' he said. ''I've always assumed I'd play every game, today was no exception. I enjoy playing.

''I don't want to say I'm shocked by the events of today. I guess in some way I expected it ... but I have no idea. It's unfortunate we're out of this playoff race. I'll just see how I feel this week and go from there.''

Vikings interim coach Leslie Frazier acknowledged that putting Favre on injured reserve, ending his season and possibly his career is possible.

''But I'm hoping not,'' Frazier said.

The 41-year-old Favre had started every game since being promoted to Green Bay’s first-string offense on September 27, 1992.

Favre’s starting streak was in jeopardy in October when he suffered a foot/ankle injury in a loss to Green Bay. Favre, though, did start the following week in New England.

The snapping of the streak is yet another rough patch in Favre’s 20th NFL season. Favre has thrown 10 touchdowns and 18 interceptions for a Vikings team expected to contend for a Super Bowl berth. Favre also is under NFL investigation for an alleged sexual harassment incident involving a former New York Jets media personality.

Through it all, Favre has led his team on the field, extending his streak further and further. Colts quarterback Peyton Manning now holds the longest streak at 205 games. He would need to keep it going for another 5 1/2 years to surpass Favre.

''It's beyond reason. It's ridiculous,'' said Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who backed up Favre in Green Bay years ago. ''He's gotten lucky a little bit too, but he's just the toughest guy in the world.''

It's a record that Favre cherishes.

''I far exceeded my goals,'' Favre said last week. ''I don't know if any player comes in and says, 'Hey, I have a goal of playing 300 straight games.' To have done that with playoffs (321 games), I don't know how many consecutive starts, it's a lot, and had it ended several weeks before or last year, it is still quite an accomplishment.''

He's been listed as questionable on the injury report heading into a game several times this season. But it was clear as soon as Moats blindsided him that this injury was more serious.

Favre's injury, a sprained SC joint, is a rarity in sports, one that doctors say occurs most often when a person's body slams against the steering wheel in an auto accident.

Favre said Wednesday he was having difficulty putting on a shirt or pulling on socks and he did not throw a proper pass all week in preparation for the Giants.

Both Favre and Frazier were adamant he would not be given a ceremonial start — one or two snaps at the beginning of the game — to keep the streak going.

Favre is right alongside Cal Ripken, perhaps the ultimate modern-day sports iron man, who played 2,632 straight games for the Baltimore Orioles, a record that spanned 17 seasons — one fewer than Favre's. But Ripken, of course, never had a 270-pound opponent stick a helmet in his ribs from the blind side.

''Brett has had an incredible career and his consecutive games streak is remarkable,'' Ripken said in a statement through his spokesman, John Maroon. ''As a football fan I cannot fathom his accomplishment and I appreciate his dedication to and passion for the game. He is a true gamer and has provided us all with a lot of wonderful memories.''

Ricky Rudd started 788 straight races in NASCAR. A.C. Green played in a record 1,192 straight NBA games with four teams over 15 seasons. Doug Jarvis played in 964 straight hockey games for the Canadiens, Capitals and Whalers.

Then there are the wondrous streaks that have little to do with longevity: Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak and Byron Nelson's 11 straight PGA Tour wins come to mind. Favre's ''297'' belongs on that list — maybe at the top.

''There's no comparison in my mind,'' said Titans quarterback Kerry Collins, a 16-year veteran himself. ''Just the physical abuse a starting quarterback takes over the course of a season and the course of a career is just beyond comprehension.''

Before Favre, the record for most consecutive games started by a quarterback belonged to Ron Jaworski, set in 1984. Favre surpassed that record in 1999 and doubled it seven years later.

''I think about my streak of 116 games, and all the injuries I had to play through,'' Jaworski said. ''To go to 297, with the players now, bigger and stronger and faster, what he's had to play through during that streak has been just unfathomable.''

Only punter Jeff Feagles has played more consecutive games than Favre, appearing in 352 straight from 1988 to Jan. 3, 2010. This is generally not considered among the record streaks since punters are not every-down players.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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