Favre inactive, ending streak at 297 games

December 13, 2010

AP Sports Writer

Brett Favre's record consecutive starts streak ended at 297 on Monday when he did not suit up for the Minnesota Vikings' game against the New York Giants.

The streak, dating back to 1992, ended because of a right shoulder injury the quarterback sustained on Minnesota's first series Dec. 5 against Buffalo.

Jeff Anderson, a Vikings spokesman, announced to the public that the 41-year-old Favre was inactive on Twitter: "Vikings Inactives -- 12, 19, 25, 31, 76, 90, 91...and 4. The streak ends..."

The Vikings hoped Favre, who has started despite a broken foot and elbow tendinitis this season, could do it again when the Giants game was delayed from Sunday after the Metrodome roof collapsed. That forced the game to be moved to Ford Field, but it was not enough time for Favre to get healthy enough to play.

The quarterback was injured when the Bills' Arthur Moats hit him square in the back and sent him to the turf on the third play from scrimmage. The day after, the rookie linebacker said he had mixed emotions about perhaps being the player who ended Favre's streak.

"I don't want to see anybody hurting and not playing any more. If he plays, that would be a good thing," Moats said. "But if he doesn't, and I was the guy to end the streak, all right. That's a little notable, yeah."

For some, it was hard to fathom. Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald tweeted: "Even after the reports about Brett Favre being inactive I STILL won't believe that he's not playing until I see it w/ my own eyes!"

Tarvaris Jackson will start for Minnesota, which at 5-7 is a long shot to make the playoffs.

Season No. 20 has been one of Favre's toughest. He's taken a beating on the field and played not only through two fractures in his left foot and elbow tendinitis but 10 stitches in his chin along with aches in his neck, back and calf before he was crunched by Moats.

Favre has thrown a league-high 18 interceptions and his 69.6 QB rating is 29th in the league.

He's also been the subject of an NFL investigation into allegations he sent inappropriate messages and photos to a game-day hostess when both worked for the New York Jets in 2008. The investigation has lasted for more than two months now, and the lawyer for Jenn Sterger was vocal last week in trying to get a ruling announced.

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 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 interim coach Leslie 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.