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Injury should not sideline Packers QB

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- For the second straight season, the bye
comes at just the right time for an injured Brett Favre.

The Green Bay Packers quarterback learned Monday he played
almost the entire game Sunday at St. Louis with a broken right
thumb, which he injured on his second pass attempt.

Favre declined comment Monday, but coach Mike Sherman said the
injury was minor and it shouldn't prevent Favre from extending his
NFL quarterbacks record 197-game starting streak after the bye
week.

Sherman so downplayed the fracture he only mentioned it at the
end of his Monday news conference when going over the injury
report.

"He has a hairline crack on his thumb," Sherman said. "If we
had to play this week, he said he could play with it, and hopefully
in two weeks, when we play, it will be better."

The Packers (3-4) are off this week before traveling to
Minnesota.

Favre banged his thumb on guard Mike Wahle's shoulder pads on an
incompletion to Donald Driver on the Packers' first series, but did
not come out and didn't seem affected by it.

"He played pretty well with it," Sherman said.

Despite Green Bay's 34-24 loss to the Rams, Favre had one of his
best dome performances, completing 23 of 32 passes for 268 yards
and two touchdowns with one interception. His passer rating was
104.7.

The three-time MVP who turned 34 this month left the locker room
Sunday with a bag of ice taped to his right thumb, which swelled on
the flight home. It was black and blue when it was placed in a
splint.

Favre, who had nine touchdown passes and three interceptions in
his last four games, won't practice this week and will be evaluated
again next week after the players return from four days off,
Sherman said.

Favre injured his right thumb in the preseason in 1999 and it
severely affected his throwing ability for much of the season.
Sherman said he didn't think there was that danger this time.

"I asked him how does it compare to '99 and he said, 'Not even
close.' He said, 'I couldn't grip a ball. It's nothing like that.
It's nothing like the (elbow) tendinitis (in 2000),"' Sherman
said. "He feels pretty confident he can throw the football the way
it is right now."

Still, offensive coordinator Tom Rossley called the injury "a
definite concern."

"He said he's not sore today, but he's not gripping and
throwing," Rossley said.

Favre's latest injury came one day shy of the one-year
anniversary of the scariest injury of his 13-year career, a
partially torn ligament in his left knee after he was tackled by
Washington linebacker LaVar Arrington.

Favre took advantage of the bye week to continue his consecutive
starts streak, which now stands at 180, plus 17 playoff games.