NEW YORK (Reuters) - Brett Favre’s status as the ironman of the National Football League looked vulnerable on Monday when the Minnesota Vikings quarterback was diagnosed with two fractures in his left ankle.
The 41-year-old quarterback has started a record 291 consecutive regular-season games, but that astonishing streak could come to a shuddering halt if he is listed inactive for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.
“I’m taking it day-by-day,” Vikings coach Brad Childress told reporters after explaining that Favre was wearing an ankle boot after an MRI revealed he had an avulsion fracture and a stress fracture.
“Neither (fracture) is surgical but once he’s functional, he can play. As you know, he has had ankle and heel problems for a long time so that walking boot makes him a little bit more comfortable.”
Although Favre is renowned for gritting his teeth through aches and pain, Childress said he had no desire to rush him back into action.
“You can’t put a guy that’s a sitting duck out there. His competitive nature, I’m sure, will come into it,” said Childress. “He’s got a great pain threshold and also great competitive zeal. But a lot of times you’ve got to protect people from themselves.”
Two weeks ago, there had been speculation Favre’s unbroken run might end at 289 when he had he would consider sitting out a game or two because of a lingering elbow injury.
In the build-up to Minnesota’s October 17 game against the Dallas Cowboys, he had limited participation in practice while trying to rest his right elbow which had been hampered by tendinitis for several weeks.
A final decision was left until shortly before that game when Favre was declared active to keep his run going.
Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue