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Monday, December 6, 2010

Brett Favre Injured, Leaves Field After Making 297th Straight Start

Vikings quarterback Brett Favre suffered an injury on his first pass of Sunday's 38-14 Vikings win over the Buffalo Bills and left the game in obvious pain -- a potentially significant blow to the most durable player in NFL history.

Favre suffered the injury when he was drilled on a vicious -- but clean -- hit by Bills linebacker Arthur Moats while throwing a pass, which the Bills intercepted. Favre never saw Moats coming, and the force of the hit planted Favre face-first into the Metrodome turf. He stayed on the ground, appearing to be in agony.

Vikings announced Favre had a shoulder injury -- he did not return to the game. Favre was replaced by Tarvaris Jackson, the former Vikings starter, who became the backup when Favre showed up in 2009. While Jackson was on the field, Favre attempted to throw a pass on the sideline, but when he struggled to do so, he walked to the locker room.

The 38 points that Minnesota scored under Jackson -- including 31 in the first half -- were the most they'd put up this season, surpassing the 27 they'd racked up in a Week 9 win over Arizona.

Jackson got off to a rocky start, throwing an interception that Drayton Florence returned 40 yards for a touchdown for a 7-0 lead.

But he settled down, completing all four of his passes on the next drive for 76 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown to Sidney Rice.

Favre returned to the sideline later in the second quarter and had a long conversation with interim coach Leslie Frazier and Jackson. It appeared Favre was going to come back into the game, but Frazier stuck with Jackson, whose second TD pass of the game to Rice gave the Vikings a 28-7 lead with eight minutes to go in the first half.

Jackson completed 10 of his first 12 passes for 152 yards with two TDs and one interception. He was 12 for 17 for 170 yards and led the Vikings to 31 points in the first half, which set a season high for points in a game by a team that entered the game 4-7.

Favre watched from the sideline with his arms folded, talking to Jackson after each series. He occasionally wound his throwing shoulder slowly to try and loosen it up after getting leveled by Moats on the third play of the game.

Sunday's game was Favre's 297th consecutive start. It's too soon to say whether Favre will be healthy enough in a week to make consecutive start No. 298, or whether one of the most impressive streaks in sports history is coming to an end.


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