Favre injures nerve in right elbow; status uncertain

Updated: November 19, 2006, 11:22 PM ET
Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Not even the Patriot who sacked Brett Favre on his last play Sunday knew the three-time MVP was injured until there was a lull in the action.

Brett Favre
Favre

Favre, making his 251st consecutive start including playoffs, hurt his right elbow late in the second quarter of Green Bay's 35-0 loss to New England and did not return. His status for next Monday's night game at Seattle is unclear, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.

"He took a shot on the elbow," McCarthy said. "He was not able to gain strength in his hand, as far as holding the football, controlling the football.

"As far as the future, how bad it is, I'd be speculating."

Favre was replaced by second-year quarterback Aaron Rodgers -- but to make matters worse for the Packers, Rodgers was walking with a limp through the locker room after the game.

Favre and Rodgers both declined to talk to reporters.

McCarthy said Favre wasn't complaining about pain after the injury, but was unable to muster enough strength in his hand to adequately grip the football after halftime. Favre will have an extra day of rest this week before the Packers' night game at Seattle on Nov. 27.

Favre was wrapped up low by Tully Banta-Cain and was on his way down when Tedy Bruschi slammed into him, forcing him down hard on his right arm and throwing shoulder with 1:41 left in the half.

"I didn't realize that he even got hurt until later and it wasn't like I knew anything had happened," Banta-Cain said. "My heart goes out to him and I hope everything's OK."

Favre, who finished 5-for-15 for 73 yards, struggled to his feet and doubled over, grasping at his wrist and elbow.

"He hit right on a nerve," McCarthy said. "The funny bone nerve. I mean, we don't want to classify it."

Favre, on the injury report this week because of ankle and groin injuries, held the arm gingerly on the sideline as the training staff looked at him before he was carted off the field at halftime.

"Brett's a tough guy, one of the toughest guys in the league. It doesn't matter if he's a quarterback or not, he's one of the toughest guys in the league," Bruschi said. "You know when he can't come back like that something's probably up."

Favre did not immediately return when the Packers took the field in the second half, and the team said he was working on his throwing motion in the locker room.

When Favre did emerge about a minute into the third quarter, he received a standing ovation, even though he was still holding his right arm as he walked to the sideline.

Favre practiced throwing with Rodgers as New England opened the second half with a four-minute drive, but Rodgers took the field again when the Packers got the ball back.

"When we came out of the locker room, he was trying to gain strength," McCarthy said.

But it was clear to the coaching staff that he wouldn't return because McCarthy said he didn't receive series-by-series updates on Favre, who left the field for good at the end of the third quarter.

Rodgers finished 4-of-12 for 32 yards in the Packers' worst shutout loss in 36 years.

It was the fewest completions in a start in Favre's career and only the sixth time he did not complete a game due to injury. He completed only six passes in back-to-back games in 1994 because of a severely bruised left hip.

The last time he was knocked out of a game was Oct. 3, 2004 against the New York Giants when he sustained a concussion in the third quarter. Favre missed two plays before returning to throw a touchdown pass to Javon Walker. Team doctors subsequently ruled him out for the rest of that game, which the Packers lost 14-7.

Favre's consecutive starts streak is again in question.

"Not to see him back in was a big surprise, so we knew it must have been serious," Packers receiver Donald Driver said. "We'll see what happens, but nobody really knows right now."


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press