Favre Struggling With Ailment

While the Green Bay Packers practiced at the Don Hutson Center, Brett Favre stood in the background and fidgeted with the ice pack wrapped around his right arm.

It was an uncomfortable pose for a player used to being the center of attention. But with tendinitis in his throwing arm still lingering, Favre said Wednesday he "easily could be" out of the Packers' lineup for their last two preseason games.

Favre, who hasn't practiced in a week, said it was too soon to tell whether his streak of 125 consecutive regular season starts - longest in NFL history by a quarterback - is in jeopardy.

"I've played a long time, and I've been fortunate not to have injuries," the three-time MVP said. "This isn't something I'm used to, but it's part of the game. I'd much rather be out practicing with the teammates, but I guess it had to come some time. I'm just trying to deal with it."

The Packers open the season Sept. 3 at Lambeau Field against the New York Jets.

After starting every game for the last 7 1/2 years and rarely even missing a practice, Favre hasn't warmed to idea of sitting out - but he knows rest is necessary for the arm to heal.

"It feels better now than it did last week, and that's probably because of rest and treatment," Favre said. "If it felt the whole season like it does today, it would be quite difficult to throw the way I would want to."

Coach Mike Sherman said Favre could be held out of the Packers' third preseason game Monday night at Miami - and if he does play, it won't be for more than one series. Green Bay's preseason concludes at home against Cleveland on Aug. 26.

"We're in a waiting mode right now," Sherman said. "He's a guy that's always going to be prepared and ready to go, regardless of what he misses on the practice field. We're just getting him healthy, and that takes time."

The tendinitis kept Favre out of Sunday's preseason game at Denver. He made several throws on the sidelines at Mile High Stadium before the game, but decided not to play.

Favre had a magnetic resonance imaging test and a cortisone injection on Monday, and his activity has been limited to stretching since then. He wears ice on the arm for several hours a day.

"I probably could throw a little bit, (but) it's not worth trying," Favre said. "I'm just trying to wait until all the symptoms are gone."

Favre described the injury as an isolated pain on the outside of his forearm not the inside, where the ligaments associated with "Tommy John" surgery are located.

He said it was nothing more than a nagging tightness tha's aggravated when he throws the ball. It developed gradually through the first two weeks of training camp before getting so bad last week that he stopped practicing for the first time in his recent memory.

"It felt all balled up, like a knot," he said.

Favre stays in shape but doesn't throw footballs during the offseason. Instead, he plays golf almost every day in Mississippi. He doesn't think his tendinitis is somehow related to a lack of proper training, an opinion shared by Sherman and the Packers' medical staff.

"You don't start 125 straight games without doing the right thing in the offseason," Favre said with a grin. "I guess I didn't do enough manual labor in the offseason, raking and weeding."

Favre is the biggest concern on a Packers roster riddled with injuries. Right tackle Earl Dotson's return to workouts this week was good news, but running back Dorsey Levens underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Tuesday and was lost for 3-4 weeks.

Receiver Corey Bradford is out 6-8 weeks with a broken fibula, and backup running back Ahman Green sprained his left knee against the Broncos, though he's healing faster than expected. Even third-string running back Basil Mitchell has missed the Packers' last two practices with a jammed toe.

"It's a lot to overcome, but we have time to heal and time to get better," Packers offensive coordinator Tom Rossley said. "We'll deal with it."


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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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